Valle de Bravo, Mexico

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Last weekend was a long weekend in Mexico (Monday was Constitution Day) so Gaby, Penny and I packed a bag and the family dog and headed to Valle de Bravo, a small town about two hours outside Mexico City. Valle de Bravo is world renowned for being the location of the Paragliding World Championship as well as the final resting place for the Monarch Butterfly migration – there must be something really special about ‘landing’ here! On Sunday, while most Americans were watching the Superbowl, we decided to forego daytime beer drinking  and see the butterflies instead. Indulging in nature is much more my thing these days than indulging in wings and Bud Light! It took about an hour (and a near-heart attack thanks to the 2,400 meter altitude) to hike up to the Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary, where there were hundreds of thousands of butterflies that had made the migration from Canada to Mexico. Apparently the butterflies that make it all the way to Valle de Bravo are the third generation of the butterflies that leave Canada – so the first generation breeds a third of the way down, the second generation breeds two thirds of the way down and the third generation are the butterflies that end up in Valle. That’s quite a trek! If you’ve ever had a butterfly land on you, or probably by an educated guess, you would know that butterflies weigh practically nothing! And when you see these photos, you’ll see there are enough butterflies on the branches of the trees to actually weigh them down so much that the branches sometimes snap and fall off the trees! I would say it would take a few hundred thousand to make that happen!

 

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One Comment:

  1. Hi. I went up to the see the butterflies from Valle de Bravo just after you on Feb. 19,2015. I was nauseated, had no appetite and my blood pressure went sky high. Never had blood pressure problems before. A paramedic came with our group and sat with me about 3 hours until she could get it down. I had not heard of altitude sickness or maybe I could have prevented this. I was with a group of USA and Canadian Girl Scout adults staying at the scout world center in Cuernavaca. We really saw about 2 trees covered with butterflies and many floating down like leaves through the trees. It is amazing to think of their incredible voyage. Someone asked our hosts if they celebrate when the butterflies return each autumn and he said they celebrate Nov. 2 (All Souls Day) because many believe the Mariposas are the souls of their ancestors returning each year. I will be planting a few milkweed plants this spring as their numbers are way down. Happy Travels to You!! Suzanne from North Carolina,USA

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