How to Handle a Monarch

Yesterday I was outside, writing, and it was a sunny morning but, well, cold. Sitting in my chair in the shade, I was cold.

I chanced to look down, and was surprised to see a beautiful monarch butterfly clumsily trying to crawl over the grass. I wanted to help, but sometimes when you intervene in nature, you make things worse. Eventually Mr. Do-Good won out. I decided the monarch’s problem was that he was too cold to function properly–but I could fix that.

The thing to do is to let the butterfly crawl onto your hand. Monarchs have a lot of self-confidence because they know the birds won’t eat them–not unless they want to get sick. Monarch butterflies are pull of nasty milkweed juice, which they absorb as caterpillars.

Once I had the monarch perched on my finger like a canary, I brought him to a warm and sunny place and got him to crawl onto a plant. He rested there for just two or three minutes, flexing his wings in the sun–and then took off, last seen flying over the roof on his way to wherever he was going. And I felt blessed.

We once fished one of these out of Barnegat Bay and let him rest in our boat until his wings were dry and he could fly away.

God’s stuff is just so wonderful.

2 comments on “How to Handle a Monarch

  1. My family and I were blessed once to watch hundreds of Monarch buttlerflies land on the beach in front of our cottage in Connecticut. They were migrating to Mexico I believe, and stopped to rest. Fascinating and wonderful God stuff!

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