Like a butterfly in reverse, the blossom folds into its cocoon.
I once visited a small pine forest in Mexico where Monarchs gather and suspend their lives for the winter. It was early morning, before all the tour buses arrived. John Gibson and I hired a guide who walked up a mountain path beside the horses we rode. Closer to the hooves than our lofty positions, he coughed from the dusty trail.
Even though the guide spoke no English and our little Spanish did not include insect breeding, he conveyed the difference between the genders: the dot on the lower wings of the males. About a dozen tall straight pine trees stood bright orange from millions of Monarchs lining the trunks and branches. Not only was the sight more brilliant than any Fall I’ve seen, all around us, we heard the soft flap from their flying wings, and felt the air move on our cheeks as they flitted by: our own private Butterfly Effect. Sublime.