This beautiful old butterfly arrived in my garden in early March 2018. She spent at least 45 minutes in my garden before she eventually flew away.

I watched her sucking deep down with her proboscis into the nectar in my zinnia flower.  She loved it and couldn’t get enough, she was not scared of me even though I was up close watching her, and admiring her battered body.  She must have had many stories to tell, and I wondered how far she had come from – so many questions I’d have liked her to answer.  I will never know I can only imagine.

After having a big feed on my nectar flowers she then went on to lay at least 20 eggs on my swan plants/milkweed.  You can see for yourself how she feasted on my flowers.

Monarch butterflies are here to show us how to never give up and grow old gracefully. She looked weathered and dull looking due to the intense sun, wind, and rain. Although her wings were damaged, she still got to where she wanted to go. It didn’t stop her, I was surprised how she still showed immense strength and determination. She showed me patience, by taking her time to suck in the nectar and glide around in the air above me, and circle before coming back to the swan plant.

It’s like that old saying “never judge a book by its cover”; instead you should take the time to get to see into that person’s/animal’s soul or find out that stranger’s story as we have all got a story to tell.  You just got to give your time and be present with that person or be present within nature, and you find out so much!

Sometimes we humans are quick to judge people by their looks and never see their inner beauty. At first, I thought she was a damaged Monarch that was on her last legs that couldn’t fly, as I’ve never seen such ripped wings in so many places before. I was happy to see that she still attracted male company and a male was flying around her. Again the Monarch teaches us that no matter how old or how we look we can always attract new friends and partners into our life.

In the Monarch’s mind, she was busy, and she knew she had chores to do that day, have a big feed, fly around gracefully and lay eggs for the next generation of Monarch butterflies that will overwinter around the Christchurch parks.

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Over the years Monarchs always impressed me with how they fly around with damaged wings, or other times newborn Monarchs have refused to fly away off my hand as they knew there were days of torrential rain ahead and wanted to stay inside on my flowers.

Monarch butterflies are fascinating insects, not only do they know what parks to go to for overwintering, so that they can go into diapause, they also go to the exact same trees the previous ancestors went to the year before. They also understand not to go into sexual maturity as winter is approaching. This is why I love sharing awareness for the Monarch butterfly and teach the magical life cycle in schools to all the children – they just get it!! They really do soak it all in and understand that they have to care for all the creatures and insects that share our planet with us.

I am very thankful to this Monarch butterfly for coming to my garden one hot Saturday afternoon while the kids were playing in the other garden and I got to spend time peaceful time alone with her and watch her pole dance and do acrobatics on my swan plants.

Want to know more about taking care of a vital pollinator and would like to purchase my book that has all you need to know about creating a beautiful butterfly garden and raising healthy monarch butterflies, go purchase my excellent A4 colourful resource book.

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2 thoughts on “The beautiful battered veteran

  1. How lovely this post was to read – I love your comparison to our lives, beautifully profound. The children who get to do your workshops are very lucky 😀

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