Letter from Pato and Ana Moreno: Hard to Say ‘Goodbye’


Published: 03/09/2022

Monarch butterflies can change people’s lives, create connections and form new friendships. It’s always good to meet new people and make new friends, to see friends that return every season and there are others that we hope will come back in future seasons.

That’s why every time we see the butterflies starting their journey back, it’s impossible not to feel sad, watching the butterflies leave is like watching our friends leave, we know that we will see them again in November, but we cannot help them for the next seven months.

From the moment we noticed a decrease in the colony, our sadness began. Lately we have noticed that the colony has decreased by approximately 60% of the total number of butterflies.

In November, when the colony was formed in Cerro Pelón in the place known as El Capulin, it hadn’t moved so much, so according to the rangers in this area, at the beginning of the last week, there were still around 40 trees, but during the week, they started to join the ones in La Peña and in the same way many of them left on Saturday, March 5th and Sunday 6th. 

In the second colony that was formed in a place known as Los encinos, no more clusters or a colony can be seen. You can see the butterflies scattered on the trees, but you can also see many of them flying in that area.

While, in the colony of La Peña, it is difficult to access due to the complicated terrain, but from La Peña, we have seen that there is an occupied area of around 100 meters from La Peña to a lower part called Las Canoas, there are many trees in which there are scattered butterflies, but there are also about 50 trees in which you can still see a colony.

In the lower part of this colony, there is a stream called Las Canoas, recently the activity of the monarchs has increased as well as the search for nectar in the flowers near the colony.

According to the comments of local people of the communities on the Michoacán side, they have seen many butterflies going down in the morning, but they don’t see the same number of them returning in the afternoon, even clearer signs that they are already leaving.

—Pato & Ana Moreno


Read the Spanish version of Pato and Ana Moreno’s letter»