the journey of the Monarch butterflies

January 11, 2020

Monarch butterflies are known for the incredible mass migration that brings millions of them to California and Mexico each winter.

North American monarchs are the only butterflies that make such a long journey—up to 3,000 miles. The insects must begin this journey each fall ahead of cold weather, which will kill them if they wait too long.

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. The four steps of the monarch butterfly are the egg, the larva (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are four different butterflies going through these four stages for one year until it’s time to start over again with stage one and generation one.

February and March: The final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies wakes up to find a mate. They migrate north and east to find a place to lay their eggs (stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly).

March and April: The eggs are laid on milkweed plants. In about four days, baby caterpillars (larvae) hatch. The baby caterpillars eat the milkweed to grow. In about two weeks, the caterpillar is fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so it can start the process of metamorphosis. It attaches itself to a stem or leaf using silk and transforms into a chrysalis. The chrysalis phase takes about ten days. It looks like nothing is happening from the outside, but it is a time of rapid change. The old body parts of the caterpillar are going through a transformation (metamorphosis) to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will die after laying eggs for generation two born in May and June, and then the third generation is born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through the same four-stage life cycles the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly. In late fall, the adult monarch butterflies (4th generation) migrate to warmer places like Texas, then Mexico, to complete their life cycle.

Thank you,

Sierra Chincua

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

R. Buckminster Fuller

After a long steep drive up the Michoacan Mountains trough small villages at 3000m above sea level, we reached the Monarch Reserve, where we were able to camp at the parking lot. Early the next morning, we started our 2km hike into the pine forest with our 11-year-old guide Lupa.

On the way to find the Monarchs

Lupa our guide- she does this job on weekends and holidays

When we arrived at the migration spot, the cloudy sky showed a little sunshine, which was good as the monarchs using their wings to charge upon sunlight.

And then they started flying and flying, and our inner soul just found this internal peace when we realize how amazing it is to be part of such a fantastic world. We are no more or no less we are one part!


Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


As we took pictures and even filmed some footage there is no way to capture the peace, beauty and natures miracle at its finest.

Enjoy the movie! and thanks for watching.