lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

B is for Butterfly

Monarch transTHE

The monarch butterfly to be precise.

Monarch butterflies form part of the largest migration of any animal – an up to 3,200 mile journey from the cool mountain forests of Mexico, where they spend winter protected from the extreme cold by clustering together in millions on oyamel fir trees, to North America and Canada.

In spring they are stimulated by the lengthening days and the rise in temperatures to mate – then they rise from the trees and set off north, tasting the direction on the wind, and lay their eggs, one at a time, on flowering milkweed plants.

Three generations of butterflies feed, pupate and emerge – and the fourth generation, feeling the shortening of the days and cooling temperatures, somehow, even though they are the great, great-grandchildren of the butterflies that flew north, know they have to fly south and overwinter to survive and start again the following year.


Monarch butterflies are endangered by loss of habitat and climate change.

All material © Liz Brownlee

Blog hop to another A-Z Challenge Blog here.


  1. Liz

    Great great grandchildren – that’s amazing! Are they the size of your painting on here? Because we get butterflies that big and I’m wondering if that’s what they are.


  2. Isn’t it amazing that such a tiny creature can travel so far. Sad about their loss of habitat though. Will we ever strike a balance?


    • It’s hard to know. It’s likely that creatures that depend on a delicate balance of temperatures and conditions like the monarch will find it hard or become extinct. We need to take action now but people just aren’t ready to give up the life-styles they are enjoying.


  3. Lovely poem for a beautiful and inspiring creature. I love the image of the butterfly. I sang a song to a dying monarch when I was a little girl. Sweet memory.


  4. Forgot to leave my blog signature. Play off the Page
    Cheers to a new Challlenge!


  5. beautiful tribute to the monarch! and love your theme.
    happy b day!


  6. This is why I love butterflies. Beautiful poem!

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge Co-host


    • Thank you Konstanz! They are fabulously beautiful.


  7. The monarch is such an amazing creature, but then I think all butterflies are. Found myself looking at the monarch butterfly in the museum’s butterfly house, while I was working on Friday, and just thinking ‘you amazing thing you’ 🙂
    Great post and poem, Liz, look forward to reading the others (will try to comment as much as I can, when I can too…well, one of use will)
    (Jediya from TB)


  8. Such a lovely poem. So glad I found your site…even if its a day late.


    • You are a day late? Are you running behind? It’s quite a thing having to do a post every day, and go and see others! I’ve kept up with postings and have two in hand (proud as I am drawing and writing them all new, apart for the aye-aye!). I did lapse with looking at others but have caught up today. Good luck with the challenge!


  9. I absolutely love butterflies! I have a butterfly garden that is just outside my bedroom window so I can watch them.

    Have you ever considered selling some of your monarch butterfly artwork with the proceeds going to The Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary or the Forest for Monarchs Project?


    • Monique – I enjoy drawing and love having a go for the A-Z Challenge, but I am not an artist! I’m not good enough. I stick to poetry!


      • Ok, first off poetry is an art.

        And the passion behind your drawing is what makes it beautiful. Don’t sell yourself short, you are an artist!

        Secondly, selling a form a media that you don’t consider your forte in order to raise awareness are the ones that are the most appreciated and valued. At least, in my opinion they are. I would rather buy something that looks like it was made during a tornado for $40 to help raise awareness than to buy a $20 Monet replica from Pier 1.


      • LOL! I draw them on the computer, with the mouse. I’m afraid they are only digital, and wouldn’t print – I don’t have the patience to draw over and over to get stuff right, on the computer you can just go back to an earlier version. But I have offered my poems to an environmental charity and 24 of my poems are up at our local zoo. They area good zoo and do a lot of good work saving endangered animals and they paid me well, but I did not charge them as much as a normal client.


      • That is really cool!

        I’m a sucker when it comes to zoos. lol I could go every day.


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