The morning temps. were in the low 30's, dropping steadily from yesterday evening. Being cold-blooded, he would have been unable to fly. He may have stopped to rest for the night, which would have been ok. But if he had gotten wet, he would have surely frozen.
Perhaps he dreamt of the mountain forests of Mexico, the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve, where millions of his kind would gather together once again to overwinter. In his dream, did he settle within the branches of the sacred oyamel fir; safe, secure, content, as he fluttered to the ground on this frigid minnesota morning?
The peak migration time for this species in our latitude is the end of august through early september. I found him on november 7th. But then of course two days ago it was almost 60 degrees, and I wore a light jacket. Did he wish the summer would never end? Did he tarry too long throughout the beautiful days, instead of diligently following his journey?
I believe he is with the other butterflies, high above the Michoacan valleys. Gently, I outstretch his wings, and place him within the tall, green balsam. . . .