Thursday, 3 March 2011

Can't resist a few more Monarchs...

I'm not specially Royalist, although I can't think of a better head-of-state system offhand, but I hope you'll forgive a few more pictures of the butterfly kingdom's Monarchs. First, though, here's another Mexican butterfly; in fact the only other one which I was able to stalk and photograph.

I think that age is creeping up on me more successfully than I managed to creep up on the butterflies. This delicately beautiful shade-lover, with its marvellous camouflage, was darting about in the Mayan ruins of Coba when Abi spotted it. Like the fritillary in the previous post, I will look it up later, helped by the bugs website kindly pointed-out to me by my 'Exile to a Pompous Land' pal. One thing about the Mayan ruins btw: they are all pronounced differently from my expectations. Thus it's CoBA, and ChiCHEN ItZA. There's a useful tip for life.

Now the Monarchs again - and these are pictures taken by Abi, as is obvious from the better definition achieved by her steadier hand. Aren't they great. I wish I was back there, as I gaze out at early March Yorkshire and the ruins of our Cordyline australis which has had a probably terminal battering from the very cold weather in the UK this winter. You can check out its stark remains on But there is a good side. Inspired by Mexico, I plan to use the fallen 'dagger leaves' to thatch my tree house extension.

My son Tom, who is the Economist's man in Central America and the Caribbean, made a virtue of our visit and had a piece in about the Monarchs the following week. I can't link it cos you have to subscribe, but it reported on increased numbers of butterfly migrants this year, and a decline in illegal logging in the forests which are so vital to them. As he pointed out, this is an example of increased tourism actually helping a natural habitat rather than putting it at risk.


Stewart said...

Hi Martin, I've never been across the atlantic, but I saw 2 Monarch's at Prawle Point, Devon some years back while twitching a Bobolink there. Super butterflies, soaring and flying at great speed...

Martin said...

Wooo - lucky you! Seeing a Monarch in the UK would allow me to depart in piece.

There are so many in Mexico that it dulls you a bit. But they are very fine insects.

all best and thanks