While my journey south to Mexico every fall terminates at Jaltemba Bay, Monarch butterflies migrate further into the mountainous interior of Mexico. During this trip they make numerous refueling stops, of which our yard is apparently one. I took a photo of this Monarch last fall during a brief pit stop it made at our place near El Tonino, Mexico.

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of those magical beings that boggles the mind with its ability to travel the long miles, over 2,800, from the far reaches of Canada to its overwintering site in central Mexico. The UNESCO Natural World Heritage Biosphere Reserve, located northwest of Mexico City in Michoacan State, was set aside for the regal Monarchs in 2008 in order to give them protection during their vulnerable state of hibernation. This Reserve is where the majority of Monarchs settle, on oyamel fir tree branches, for their winter sojourn. Public visitation is carefully controlled within this fragile environment. To read more about the Biosphere Reserve for Monarch butterflies please go directly to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre site.

About the Author: Tosia Archer spends her winter living near El Tonino (a 20 minute drive north from La Peñita) along with her husband David and their Mexican adopted pets: dogs Agua Chili Bob and Momz, and their cat Blanca. They all travel south together by truck from Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Canada each fall and return there to work each spring. She enjoys photographing local wildlife and flowers, whale watching and then rendering what she has seen into watercolour art. She volunteers with JBAR and is a member of the Guayabitos Artists Collective and Writers Who Love Mexico. Tosia is also part of the Jaltemba Bay Life Team.

This story was submitted by one of our staff writers. If you want to join in the fun and share your stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Tosia@JaltembaBayLife.com