Parque Natural Mexiquillo


Monarch Butterflies

Today we are headed for the wintering site of the Monarch Butterflies. This one has been on my bucket list for years.
On the way there we made a detour to a nearby Buddhist Stupa.  "A Stupa or Chorten is a symbolic representation of the mind of Buddha or enlightened mind and also represents the stages of the path to enlightenment. It is also a source of blessings since it contains relics which to radiate its blessings, favor the achievements in practitioners. In short, it represents the spiritual path to enlightenment Dharma practitioners."

I climbed up behind the Stupa and discovered a Coral Snake. They are poisonous, but not aggressive.

According to Tibetan Buddhism you can intensify its power by walking around the Stupa 3 7, 11, 21 or 108. Some of my fellow adventures are doing so below.

There are two ways to reach the butterflies, walk or horse back. Susie and Roy along with other members of our group chose wisely, the horse. I decided to walk. 19.174007  -99.958302 

Starting at 9,000 feet the gentle slope of the paved trail "says no problem, you can do this". 

It is a 3 km hike to the butterflies. The horses take you up 2.5km. The last 0.5km is a steep "goat trail" up through the forest to an oxygen deprived altitude of 10,442 ft.

Clumps of thousands of butterflies huddled together for warmth. This is one of Earth's great migrations. Monarchs leave their summer home in Eastern North America commencing a multigenerational flight to central Mexico and back. Genetic imprinting directs them back to the same trees that their ancestors left the year before.

A few that are warm enough to fly around

Photo by Kevin Read

Photo by Kevin Read

Heading back down. I survived the Monarch death march.


  1. Gwen gave me the address for your blog I haven't had it up until now
    What a wonderful job and as usual the pictures are great
    I'll definitely be keeping track of you now
    Keep the rubber side down