Billy Renkl Illustration

Late Migration

And then, a miracle. Walking to the mailbox on a sunny November afternoon, I spied a flash of orange in the flower bed. I was a step or two on before I saw it: a monarch, riding a hot-pink zinnia nodding in the wind. I walked closer, and there on a yellow zinnia was another. And on the red one too‑and on the orange, the white, the peach ones. Monarch after monarch after monarch was gathering nectar from the flowers. All the mild afternoon, my butterfly garden was a resting place for monarchs making a very late migration to Mexico.