Jessica Vendetti operates a way station at her Gaylord, TN home for monarch butterflies and releases them in the fall to participate in the great migration to Mexico.
A couple of years ago, Vendetti came upon a monarch with a damaged wing. Vendetti’s role in helping the butterfly overcome its injury is now the basis for her book, “The Adventures of Marigold Mountain: A Monarch’s Story.”
Vendetti has self-published her book, the first in a series. “A Monarch’s Story” explains the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly as told by one caterpillar that will be flying in the annual migration to Mexico. That’s a yearly journey in which millions of monarchs go from Canada and the U.S. to California and Mexico for the winter.
The subject for the book is based on an actual incident involving a monarch raised by Vendetti at her way station (called Marigold Mountain) where she raises monarchs through the life cycle — from eggs to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly, the final stage.
Last fall, Vendetti released over 1,200 monarchs for the trip to Mexico.
Vendetti’s story involves a butterfly called Aster that had a deformed wing.
“The wing may have been damaged while it was drying,” said Vendetti. “I kept the monarch for two to three weeks (in 2019).”
Vendetti researched repairing damaged wings via the internet.
“I searched Google and YouTube and saw how to attach a wing,” Vendetti said. “I ordered some wings and attached one on Aster.”
It worked and Aster made it down to Mexico, fulfilling its destiny. Vendetti tags her monarchs to provide information that is recovered once the monarchs arrive in Mexico by a group called monarchwatch.org.
Vendetti’s book is part fiction.
“The book is in the word’s of my monarch — how she goes though the life cycle and her journey to Mexico with her brothers and sisters,” added Vendetti.
But the process that Aster endured to fly, her rehabilitation in Gaylord at Vendetti’s home, is a true story.
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