A brush with fragile beauty; Terri Colby; Tribune News Service

Mexico – Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

OCAMPO, Mexico — This is a story that must begin at the end. But oh, what an end.

I stood on a forested mountaintop in Mexico in late February, mesmerized by monarch butterflies swirling around me, darting in and out of the trees and pockets of sunlight. They were high in the blue skies, clumped by the thousands on tree trunks and branches, clustered on woodland flowers and swarming in small streams of water on the forest floor. The sound of their wings was like a whisper on the breeze.

Beams of sunlight shone through 100-foot-tall oyamel fir trees like spotlights on a stage, with enough dancing butterflies to make a Bollywood extravaganza.

Bucket list experience? Absolutely.

Mingling with monarchs on a Michoacan mountaintop was a singular experience, mystical and almost spiritual.

Epic journey

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