Letter from Estela Romero: Spirits of Our Ancestors
BREAKING NEWS as of 11/02/2022: Monarchs are beginning to arrive within the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve! Estela saw her first monarch in Angangueo and Sara Dykman spotted one in El Rosario Sanctuary. And Ana Moreno shared that more than a dozen butterflies were seen in the village of Macheros.
We are eager to see the first monarch butterflies of the season arrive to overwinter in their ancestral home.
This year, as compared to last year, we have experienced a fairly rainy season. Fall temperatures have been warmer than normal. However, gentle winds with occasional, refreshing drizzles followed by bright sunshine have hopefully created ideal humidity levels for monarchs as they arrive high in the oyamel fir forests of the Sierra Madre mountain range in central Mexico.
Our great festival celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) has happened. Twenty years ago now, a large die-off of monarch butterflies occurred due to a bad snow storm at their overwintering spots. An offering was provided at the memorial to those monarchs that perished. Just as we do with our beloved ancestors, we celebrate these monarchs so that they shall never be forgotten.
Monarchs symbolize the spirits of our ancestors, and the oyamel forests stand waiting for their return.
Angangueo, Michoacán, México.
Note to our readers: This article has been edited from the original English version.