top of page

Origins of the story

Feb. 29, 2024

Welcome to my new website!

Before this story began, I'd learned a little about the life cycle of butterflies during my preparation as a master naturalist. I'd also spent hours volunteering in our local butterfly house. But my memory wasn't the best, and my understanding was rather superficial. So when I had a chance to live with one monarch butterfly and had the time to learn more, I dove in.

I wrote a short story first, called "The Last Caterpillar." In it, I reflected on the parallels between the caterpillar's evolution into a chrysalis and my father's passage from life to death, which I had experienced a few years previously. Of course, I am not the first to see this analogy, but the experience was new to me. Other readers and jurors were moved enough to award the story first place in the Virginia Writer's Club. This encouraged me to continue the story once the metamorphosis was complete.

In "Monarch", I wrote about the close observations I made of this monarch throughout its life. As I found of all observations of nature, the more we are quiet and look, the more we see. While I looked at this one creature, I had many questions. As they arose, I looked up answers. I wanted to know the science of what I saw. I made every effort to write factual information in a way that would be readable, enjoyable, and as fascinating to the reader as it was to me.

I learned a lot in the process of writing this book. I've learned a lot more since then. I barely broached the topic of migration in the book because I wasn't familiar with it. I'm glad I never let this monarch go free since I didn't even know about testing it, OE, and others of the complex issues around migration. I'm still learning, as are others with much more knowledge of the subject than I do.

I will endeavor to share scientific articles about monarchs as I learn more about them.

Thank-you for joining me here. I'll write again soon.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

"How to Know a Person" by David Brooks

I've followed author David Brooks for many years. Columnist, ethicist, and speaker, Brooks' latest book is a NYT bestseller. You may have heard interviews featuring him. Here's a sample that struck me


bottom of page