27 June 2013

Our grandparents saw things we will never see

"Everywhere men and women reported monarchs flying by the millions in September in gigantic, undulating waves extending for miles; like the passenger pigeon migrations of the age, these swarms sometimes obscured the sun, blurring day into night."
From William Leach's Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, citing "A Swarm of Butterflies" in the September 1868 issue of American EntomologistPhoto Credit.

8 comments:

  1. 1868... our great great grandparents.

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    1. The phenomenon did persist well into the 20th century.

      :.)

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  2. About 20 years ago i was walking on a path near my (then) home and I looked up and the trees were full of Monarchs. I did not have my camera with me but the image is still with me. Thanks for the memory.

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    1. My wife has had that experience twice, once as a child in Kentucky, and once with me years ago here in Madison. That last time we saw a couple branches of one tree covered with monarchs; I would pay good money to see a cloud of them obscure the sun...

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    2. I was blessed to see this once about 3.5 years ago. We were attending the graveside service for a very sweet and dearly loved woman who passed away. The trees in the graveyard were completely filled with Monarchs, and hundreds of thousands were in the air.

      Beautiful.

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    3. I saw a cloud of them while driving through Texas many years ago. Pretty amazing, but sad as they were flying across the highway and not high enough to avoid cars. Very sad. At the next gas stop we had lots of them all over the front of our vehicle. Nothing you could really do about it.

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  3. As we will see things that our grandparents never saw in the form of technological advances.

    Nowadays I consider myself lucky when I can show my son a box turtle or nest of baby birds in our yard. When I was a kid we saw them all the time.

    I would trade every piece of electronics that I own to live in a time when natural phenomena like this were more common.

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  4. In Santa Cruz, when I was a boy, there was a yearly gathering of Monarchs. I saw it once. I was too young to appreciate it then, but I remember it well. Too bad I didn't know it wouldn't be around long.

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