August 1976 National Geographic Magazine in which the Monarch Butterfly Roosting Spot’s “Discovery” was Announced

After last week’s somber realization that none of us are venturing to Mexico to see the Monarch butterflies this year because of pervasive drug cartel violence, this delightful post by a Canadian writer who ventured south to see the roosting spot is the next best thing to making the trip.

Mardi is a talented writer, cook, graduate student and teacher of third graders, who writes a well-read blog called        Eat.Travel.Live.Write.

Her January 20, 2011 post, “Pais de la Monarca” details her recent adventure to the Monarch butterfly biopreserve, where she and her partner, Mr. Neil, were the only two visitors on an organized tour.

She weaves a tale simultaneously irreverent and awestruck.  Laced with fantastic photos of the preserve (she got lucky and had some sunny days), she also includes excellent coverage of the local food.  A brief video clip carries the headline,  “Like Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds,’ only friendlier.”

Mardi’s partner, Mr. Neil, was wise enough to save the August 1976 edition of  National Geographic Magazine, pictured above, which he read when he was nine years old.   That’s what inspired the trip.  In that issue, Dr. Fred Urquhart announced that a secret spot existed in the Mexican mountains where the Monarch butterflies return to roost each year.

“If you ever get a chance to visit this magical place, don’t hesitate. It’s like a real-life Disneyland,” writes Mardi.  Reading her account captured the magic entirely.