“While on a Natural Habitat Adventures trip to Mexico to witness the incredible wintering of monarchs, there was one profound moment that I will never forget.

To understand that moment, we need to go back many years to a cute little blond-haired girl who nurtured a monarch caterpillar to a chrysalis. The little gem was carried wherever we traveled, and then, on that magic day, we watched as the incredibly colored adult butterfly emerged, dried in the sun, and flew off to a new life.

Several years later, that starry eyed little girl’s life was snuffed out by a drunk driver.

Fast forward to this past February in Mexico’s El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary, where I had the golden opportunity to watch as millions of wintering monarchs fluttered from oyamel fir tree branches to greet the new day. A single monarch delicately landed on my shoulder and for a brief time, we were connected. My eyes watered as I realized that there was a chance that I was possibly experiencing an encounter with the great, great, great granddaughter of the very same monarch my daughter released.

Thank you, Natural Habitat, for an incredible experience.”

Ron VanderVelden  |  Kingdom of the Monarchs  | 2018

Nat Hab traveler experiences a memorable encounter with a monarch butterfly