Is there anything more beautiful than a Monarch butterfly? I’ve been monitoring Monarchs from the time I was young and first witnessed their amazing life cycle from egg, to caterpillar, to gorgeous chrysalis, to the orange fiery butterfly soaring in all of its glory. They are the ultimate symbol of transformation. The Monarch population peaks in my area towards the end of summer/beginning of fall. Seeing Monarchs flying about always reminded me to savor the last long days of summer.
In the past 10 years or so, I’ve noted dwindling sightings of Monarchs. We have a patch of Milkweed, the primary food source for the Monarch caterpillar, in our garden that I monitor annually. In earlier years, I would consistently find multiple chrysalises, eggs, and small caterpillars on the milkweed leaves. In the last several years, I’ve found very little evidence of Monarchs. In their absence, I always feel somewhat of a loss to the end of summer.
Due to loss of habitat and other complications, billions of Monarch butterflies are disappearing. It’s finally catching on that something needs to be done to save them. You can read more about this in this recent news report from the Washington Post.
I have a rather timely announcement that 50% of the proceeds from the sale of prints of my painting, “Rising” will go to the Monarch Butterfly Fund, a non-profit dedicated to research and conservation efforts to help save our Monarch butterflies. This painting is symbolic of Monarch butterflies rising up through fire into the sky, just like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. It may be a rather small contribution to a larger problem, but my hope is that every little bit helps.