Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Monarch and The Trucker

This is a story that will warm the cockles of your heart. Believe me, there is no toastier feeling in the world than warm cockles. This is a story that makes you wonder why everyone in the world can’t be just as caring as the people in this one.

Some of my Canadian, American and Mexican friends know the migration of the Monarch butterflies firsthand. A group of Monarchs on the wing is an arresting sight. They are noted for their lengthy annual migration that seems so incongruous compared to their seemingly-frail bodies. In fact, Monarchs are the only insects capable of transatlantic flight. Looks can be deceiving.

In North America, the Monarch population east of the Rocky Mountains start south toward their overwintering spots in the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican states of Michoacán and Mexico by the end of October. The western population overwinters in varying sites in central coastal and southern California, USA.

The migration of the Monarchs is such an important annual event, there are untold websites on the migration, how to help track it and other information concerning this amazing journey. One such site is:

The migration has one more participant this year thanks to Jeannette Brandt, Mike Parwana, and an unknown truck driver.

Jeannette was out riding her bike in Hadley, NY when she noticed a Monarch with a broken wing. Feeling she might be able to help it, she used her emptied water bottle to transport it home.

As luck would have it, Jeannette and her partner, Mike Parwana, are bee keepers and mixed the honey they produced with water to compliment the rotting pears they fed it to help build up its strength.

While the butterfly was eating well, they still had the problem of the broken wing to contend with. They found a video on the web from Live Monarch Foundation, a non-profit group from Boca Raton, FL., that demonstrated how to fix a broken butterfly wing.

Painstakingly, tiny cardboard splints were applied with contact cement. The operation was a success and the patient spent a week in recovery doing nothing more strenuous than eating and resting.

Finally, the day arrived when it was time to send the tiny traveler on its way to warmer climes. They took the butterfly (in a shoebox) down to Scotty’s, a popular and busy truck stop about 35 miles north of Albany. Now all they had to do was find someone who wanted to be the “and release” portion of their “heal and release” mission of compassion.

"And all these truckers looked down at their shoes," Parwana told the newspaper. "If you ever want to feel strange, walk into Scotty's and just put it out there that you want them to take a box south."

Finally, a trucker from Alabama headed to Florida decided to help out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 the trucker called. The butterfly had been released.

Congratulations to Jeannette Brandt, Mike Parwana, and an unknown truck driver from Alabama.


kathi said...

thanks for the warmed heart cockles - sweet story!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...


I have a inquiry for the webmaster/admin here at

Can I use some of the information from this blog post right above if I provide a link back to your website?


Pippa said...

Daniel, you have my permission to use the story with a link back. Philippa

Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

May I use part of the information from this post right above if I provide a link back to your website?


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