Winter Butterflies

Above, Monarch Butterfly

Mary D. Barber (1869-1929)

The Monarch Butterfly Anosia Plexippus is a familiar object in many parts of the United States. but the fact that it migrates, covering in its flights hundreds and even thousands of miles, is not generally known. This butterfly appears in immense swarms every year early in September at Bolinas, a sheltered haven on the coast of California, about ten miles north of the Golden Gate.

A southerly beach, walled by high bluffs, a quaint little village which consists of trim cottages set in pretty, old-fashioned gardens; wide stretches of sunny mesa, broken here and there by arroyos and groves of cypress trees, make up a picturesque landscape, while to the south and westward rolls the vast Pacific, the ceaseless surging of its surf on the small sand a never-ending delight to the ear. This is the winter home of the Monarch butterfly.


Written in 1919, this gentle description of butterflies roosting in the trees of Mary Barber’s home in Bolinas, California makes a pleasant diversion.  I read this short piece for the 55th volume of the Nonfiction Collection.  If you enjoy it, you might also like:

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