The Monarch butterfly lives in southern Canada. Like all other butterflies, the Monarch goes through a series of changes before it is born. First, the mother Monarch deposits her eggs on the surface of a leaf. The larvae that hatch from the eggs feed on the leaves for a while and then turn into caterpillars. Then they make an enclosed nest for themselves called a cocoon.
The Monarch’s cocoon is connected to the branch of a tree with a thin but strong attachment. The caterpillar is transformed in the cocoon and slowly emerges a little while later. At first its wings are deflated but they fill out as blood is pumped into them. Now the Monarch is ready to fly.
Monarchs have a very special characteristic that separates them from other kinds of butterflies. In one year there are four different generations of Monarchs. The first three have an average life span of 5-6 weeks. But the fourth generation is different. This generation will go on a journey that lasts about 8 weeks and will survive long enough to complete it.
The journey begins from various Monarch centers in southern Canada and moves to the south. One group will go to California and another will go farther south to Mexico. These different groups of Monarchs meet on the journey as if they had received a command from a single center, and then continue their journey together. These butterflies begin their journey at a special time- exactly at the autumn equinox when the day and the night are the same length.
After flying for two months, they arrive at the warm forests of the south. The trees are covered with millions of Monarchs. The Monarchs will stay here from December to March and during these 4 months they will not eat a single thing. They survive on the fat deposited in their bodies, and only drink water.
The flowers that begin to open in the spring are important for Monarchs. Now, after waiting 4 months they treat themselves to a feast of nectar. Now they have stored enough energy for their return trip to North America. In March, before setting off, they mate. Exactly at the time when the day and night are the same length the colony starts to fly north. They complete their journey and give birth to the generation that will ensure the continuation of their species.
The new generation is the first of the year and will live about one and a half months. Later come the second and the third generations…When the fourth generation comes it starts the journey all over again. It will live six months longer than the others and the chain will continue….
Now, let’s think for a moment about this wonderful journey:
How is it that one in every four generations is born to survive 6 months longer than the others?
Why does this long-lived generation always come along in the winter months?
How is it that the butterflies begin their journey or migration at exactly the time when the day and night are the same length and how do they manage to make this fine calculation?
How does the newly born generation of Monarchs know the way on a journey it has never made before?
All this shows that Monarchs have been created according to a flawless plan for their migration and they conform to every detail of that plan. If there were least error in the plan, the Monarchs would not be able to complete their migration. In that case, all the butterflies would die in the cold of winter and the generations of Monarchs would come to an end.
These animals have definitely been specially created and taught to complete this extraordinary journey that they undertake every year. The author of this marvelous creation is Almighty Allah, the Lord of heaven and earth, the Creator and Judge of all existing things.