By Robert Michael Pyle
The monarch butterfly is our best-known and best-loved insect, and its annual migration over millions of miles is a unprecedented common phenomenon. Robert Michael Pyle, "one of America's most interesting common background writers" (Sue Hubbell), set out overdue one summer time to persist with the monarchs south from their northernmost breeding floor in British Columbia. CHASING MONARCHS tells the engrossing tale of his adventurous trip with those swish wanderers -- down the Columbia, Snake, endure, and Colorado rivers, around the Bonneville Salt apartments, and during the Chiricahua Mountains to Mexico, returning north alongside the California coast. half travelogue, half clinical examine, CHASING MONARCHS is without doubt one of the such a lot interesting books ever written approximately butterflies. "[Pyle's] pleasant anecdotes, thought-provoking philosophical questions and private ardour make this chronicle a possible vintage" (Monarch News).
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Extra resources for Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage
Lined with milkweed and goldenrod, the trail rounded the rugged canyon and dived into a dramatic tunnel. On our side, a fresh Lorquin’s admiral dried its big, banded, apricottipped wings on a sagebrush. This close relative of the viceroy had come out just that morning. The tunnel emerged around a bend, pointing toward Nighthawk. Unwelcoming Nighthawk. From the cold stares and difﬁdence I have encountered there, I have sensed this tiny community with the beautiful name and remote location to be one of the least friendly in Washington.
Now, watching these fornicating beetles, I wondered if their frank behavior did not explain the folklore as much as the effect of the substance itself. Certainly their bitter ﬂavor allows them to indulge in such orgiastic display in broad daylight, without a worry for lark or sparrow. The same principle applies to monarchs. Cresting the plateau, we passed Sagebrush Flats, scene of a bitter land-use battle between ranchers and conservationists trying to protect the state-endangered pygmy rabbit.
But I remove just one quarter of a square inch of scales on both the upper and under sides of the wing so that the label will adhere to the membrane on both sides. I tug the tag free from its backing sheet, bend it over the stiff leading edge of the wing (the costa), taking care not to crimp the wing, catch an antenna, or stick two wings together, and clamp it down. I record the sex, condition (this was a fresh female with a bird strike out of the right hindwing), and tag number. I released monarch #81726 onto laughing Claire’s small nose.