January 9, 2016
41st Anniversary of the Discovery of the Mountain of the Butterflies
In 1975, after a decades long search that involved thousands of volunteers and spanned an entire continent, Ken Brugger and Catalina Trail unlocked one of nature’s most beautiful mysteries: the overwintering place of the monarch butterfly. Led by a team of Canadian Zoologists under Fred Urquhart, the couple followed clues left by tagged butterflies that had strayed or fallen on their migratory journeys south. The scene, in which millions of monarchs cling to oyamel trees in Mexico’s easternmost Sierra Madre Mountains, would have been overwhelming. “They swirled through the air like autumn leaves,” said Urquhart after his first visit, “carpet[ing] the ground in their flaming myriads on the Mexican mountainside.”
With today’s homepage, Artist Kevin Laughlin recognizes the 41st anniversary of an incredible discovery and the singularly awesome beauty of the monarch butterfly.