One of the most beautiful things in life is butterflies.  We see them all over Texas, especially in South Texas, near Hidalgo, Starr, and Cameron counties. Butterflies should be everywhere this time of year.  Have you seen one?

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Spring and butterflies go hand in hand.  Unfortunately, spotting a butterfly floating, fluttering, and gliding through the air is few and far between.  The population of Monarch butterflies is so low, that they are considered endangered.  The World Wildlife Federation has reported that the population of monarch butterflies is down 59%.

Can you imagine a world without butterflies?

It's a scary thought because there is something special about having a butterfly land on your shoulder, leg, or arm. Some people believe that a butterfly landing on you is a sign of a spirit visiting you.

Butterflies have so many meanings

They signify new beginnings, freedom, joy, and hope.  They are even said to be a symbol of change.   The thing about butterflies is they seem so free as they are flying through the air.   It's no wonder it's such a popular symbol, that you can find anywhere and everywhere, and on everything.

Where are the Butterflies?

An organization called the Monarch Butterfly Watch has a project each year where they track the monarch butterfly with the help of people all over who report sightings of butterflies.   This year they are looking for "monarch enthusiasts" to help observe monarchs in 2024.

The goal is to gather data on monarch butterfly populations to help research low numbers this year.

To participate, all you have to do is:

  • Download the Monarch Watch App
  • Fill out the profile and accept their terms and conditions
  • Start keeping track in the Monarch Calendar Project

You can record every adult monarch butterfly you spot in your area for a specified time. You'll need to note the number of butterflies you see daily, even if you don't see any. If you cannot observe butterflies outdoors, you will leave that day's entry blank. Additionally, weather conditions will affect your butterfly sightings, so you'll need to note weather days.

Why have the butterflies disappeared?

One of the reasons is the absence of milkweed.  Milkweed, a plant that provides a breeding ground for butterflies, is being killed by pesticides that are used on crops.  Climate change is also noted as a reason for the lack of butterflies.

Hopefully, the beautiful monarch butterflies can be saved.  Can you imagine a world without butterflies?

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