Woman transports monarch butterfly from Iowa to Texas

An Iowa woman helped a monarch butterfly spread its wings and prepare to fly for the winter after heeding the call of a local nature center.

Patty Loving, who is originally from Texas, used to participate in raising and releasing monarchs down south. She caught a Facebook post from the Jester Park Nature Center in Granger seeking help for getting the butterfly to Texas and decided to step in.

“I’m like, ‘I’m on this, man’ ” Loving said. She volunteered, and there was a lot of excitement. She already had a flight booked to Texas and discovered that it wasn’t the first time someone transported a butterfly with Southwest Airlines. Loving got in touch with the airline and found that it would be allowed.

The nature center packed the butterfly away in a cool, hibernation state, and Loving headed down to Texas, where she has a friend with a community garden for refugees in San Antonio.

Loving emphasized to people that there was a chance the butterfly wouldn’t make the trip, but the worst did not come to pass on Friday afternoon.

“It was amazing,” Loving said. “I’m talking just off the hook incredible.”

A monarch butterfly stops on a flower after being released in Texas. The butterfly, which hatched late, hitched a ride with Patty Loving of Ankeny to Texas.
A monarch butterfly stops on a flower after being released in Texas. The butterfly, which hatched late, hitched a ride with Patty Loving of Ankeny to Texas.

The weather was sunny and cool, and nobody wanted to get too excited before the monarch made its grand reappearance.

Loving said that after she opened the envelope over some flowers for the butterfly, it wiggled and gripped onto her finger, not letting go of the tissue it was on.

“I thought, “Oh my God, am I gonna have to wrestle?’ ” Loving said. She said that the butterfly was so strong, so colorful and so healthy and that she knew they did the right thing.

Loving added that there was so much joy in her heart and everyone just infectiously burst into tears.

Monarch butterflies migrate en masse every year from the more northern parts of North America, where they cannot survive in the cold, down south to Mexico, where they stay for the winter.

Source: The Des Moines Register

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