Thursday, November 02, 2006

Monarch Migration

Last Wednesday evening, we rode bikes at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Our daughter and her boyfriend were visiting from NY. Hendrik's from Wyoming originally, so we wanted to show him one of our Florida wild places. Lumin drove the car to the lighthouse at the end of the road where we'd end our ride. We saw the usual lovely menagerie of birds and alligators along the way. I was especially taken by a solo roseate spoonbill feeding nearby in a pond. By the time we arrived at the lighthouse, the sun was about to set. Lumin hurried over, excited, for she'd been watching the monarch butterflies clustered in 100s on the cedars, backlit by the sun. This is their last stop before crossing the Gulf of Mexico for the winter. I made a few images in the fading light using my flash. (Click here.) This was our first year seeing the migration at its peak. It was magical for all of us. We stayed and watched the red ball of sun disappear and the resting butterflies fade into darkness. (Sunset)

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