A dwindling population of monarch butterflies has one Nacogdoches environmentalist concerned.
She isn't sitting on the sidelines.
Instead, the woman has written a children's book about the remarkable monarch's migration. However, the author's story provides a much bigger lesson.
Betty Ann Taylor, a longtime Nacogdoches advocate for animal welfare, has a goal in mind for her first book titled "Mari's Miracle."
"It gives us hope that we need to look around and see all the miracles around us and not just take the planet for granted," Taylor said.
The children's book with adult appeal is written in both English and Spanish
"Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly," Taylor said.
It's a story of a butterfly's migration from Canada to Mexico.
"And this is Mari as a caterpillar," Taylor said. "She's born and she goes through her metamorphosis and then she's off on her journey and she starts off in New York City."
Mari's journey has a stop in Nacogdoches.
"Mari stops at the butterfly garden in Nacogdoches, before she heads on to her mountain in Mexico," Taylor said.
The adventure is based on a true story. Monarchs really do travel that far.
"It's unbelievable that an insect with a brain the side of a pin head can go that far, over 2000 miles to a place it's never seen before," Taylor said.
Like butterflies, Taylor has followed the route. A recent visit to Canada brought disappointment.
"And we found only two," Taylor said.
The monarch's numbers are at a record low due to weather events and environmental issues.
Taylor's trips to the remote Mexican mountains where monarchs return year after year showed some promise.
"It's quite a sight. At the top of the mountains there are 10 million butterflies," Taylor said. "They're landing on you, flying in and out of clouds. They not only return to the same mountain, but they also return to the same family tree."
The delicate balance of survival fascinates Taylor. Mari's journey to Mexico ...
"Where she finds a mate and have many, many, many more butterflies," Taylor said.
Is a symbol of hope for the dwindling monarch population.
"And it's a happy ending," Taylor said.
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