Butterflies fascinate me.  I am fortunate to have flowers in my yard that draw them in as I shared in The Butterfly Blessing blog on July 19. But what truly amazes me is the migration of monarch butterflies in the fall. How such delicate insects even begin to flit some 3000 miles is beyond my comprehension. The butterflies migrate from the east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada to their wintering grounds in central Mexico.


Florida is one of the states the butterflies migrate over. On October 25, the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge will hold its 20th Annual Monarch Butterfly Festival at its 70,000-acre sanctuary in St. Marks, Florida. There will be speakers, exhibits, butterfly crafts and tours. Visitors can also watch butterfly tagging designed to answer questions about how weather influences their migration and how they specifically move. Additional information is available about this Florida Panhandle event by calling 850-925-6121 or visiting   http://www.fws.gov/saintmarks/


The monarch covers the bushes like an orange carpet,” says park ranger Robin Will. “You can stand next to them and they’re feeding and they’re totally preoccupied. They don’t care that you’re there. I think that’s why people are so captivated by them.”


The Panhandle Butterfly House in Navaree, Florida, will hold its 2008 Butterfly Festival on October 10-11-12. “At a time when butterflies and other pollinators are in serious jeopardy from loss of habitat and pollution, there’s no better opportunity to learn about ways we can all live a little ‘greener’ to save our local environment and its most delicate inhabitants,” said Theresa Friday, Extension Agent in Santa Rosa County. Additional information is available at http://www.panhandlebutterflyhouse.org/home.html


I would also love to hear from any of my readers who have been to a monarch butterfly festival in the past or are planning to attend one this year.


Bountiful Blessings!