Here in the crazy US it is Thanksgiving again, a holiday that, in its simplest form – taking some time to gather with family and friends to share a meal in the spirit of gratitude – is based on the most benign of impulses.
I am grateful today for the monarch butterflies that at least here on the ranch seem especially numerous this November.
This morning I found this one, newly hatched from its cocoon, clinging to the bottom rung of the gate in my front pasture, getting its bearings and testing its wings in the stiff morning breeze. I have been reading about alarming declines in monarch populations in the continental US lately, so my joy at seeing this monarch emerging and its brethren swirling through the sky is, admittedly, sharpened by a certain fearfulness for their kind. But joy it is, and thankfulness, and inspiration to keep learning and doing what I can to help monarchs stay in this world. Thank you, monarch, and thank you, milkweed plants that feed the caterpillars that turn into these brilliant velvety, polka-dotted, radiant insect-kin.