Monarch Butterfly Tulips
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Send a Monarch to Mexico!

Symbolic Monarch Migration Update: October 20, 1999

Today's Update Includes:

Thousands and Thousands of Butterflies Have Landed in Minnesota!
Greetings from the Symbolic Migration staging grounds in Minnesota, where your butterflies are now resting. Once again this year, you've managed to bury us in butterflies. In what has become an annual tradition, you sent so many on a single day that the post office had to deliver in their own truck!

We are now preparing them for the final leg of their migration to Mexico. We're opening envelopes from each class and putting the butterflies into big boxes, mixing monarchs sent from students all across the U.S and Canada. People walking by our office window are looking inside, fascinated to see what you've created and learning about monarch migration in the process. We will continue to pack for the next 12 days and then, just like the real monarchs now funneling through Texas and northern Mexico, all the symbolic monarchs will fly to Mexico.

Thanks to J. River for the Spacious Staging Grounds!
The 125 N. First Street address where you mailed your butterflies is just a temporary staging grounds for your butterflies. But it's the permanent home of software publisher J. River, Inc. Special thanks to Earl, Mandell, Ruthan and everyone at J. River for hosting the thousands of butterflies that fly through here twice each year!

Butterflies Fly Free to Mexico
For the 4th year in a row, we're thrilled that UPS (United Parcel Service) will provide free transportation for the Symbolic Butterflies! Boxes full of butterflies will be flown to Mexico by UPS's special international cargo service. We hope you'll take the time to thank UPS for this support! Without UPS, this free annual migration would not be possible.

Please send thanks to:
Mr. Jim Meyer
District Manager
United Parcel Service
3312 Broadway Street N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Symbolic Migration Art Gallery Now Open
For a glimpse of some of the butterflies that are on their way to Mexico, visit the WWW. Maybe you'll have one last look at your own!
  • Symbolic Migration Art Gallery: Room 1 2 3 4 5 6

What's in Store for Your Symbolic Butterflies?
Watch for weekly updates over the next 3 weeks! Mark your calendar because here's what we're planning:

October 27, 1999
When we finish unpacking all the butterflies each year, we make a big traveling exhibit for you to enjoy. Come to the web next Wednesday and see the pictures!

We'll challenge you to guess: Exactly how many Symbolic Butterflies do you think are headed to Mexico this year? You'll be able to inspect the pictures of kids buried in butterflies, read our clues, and then place your guess.

November 1, 1999
The butterflies will fly out on the eve of Mexico's Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). But you'll be able to track their migration LIVE to Mexico on the UPS website. To get ready, check out the UPS tracking system for special packages:

We'll challenge you to predict: Exactly how many days, hours, minutes and seconds do you think the symbolic migration will take? We'll give you the "Tracking Number" for the shipment and you can watch them fly! Also on November 1: Plan to check the "Symbolic Migration Passenger Lists" to make sure your butterflies are on board!

November 17, 1998
By now, your symbolic butterflies will have arrived at their winter home in Mexico. We'll send news from Papalote in Mexico City, and from the schools surrounding the real monarch sanctuaries near Angangeuo. Find out how fast the butterflies traveled, and exactly how many symbolic butterflies made the trip. By way of thanks, we will also list the names of the many people who are helping to conserve monarch habitat in Mexico, through a donation to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation.

Looking for Symbolism: Challenge Question #15
As you follow the migrations of real and symbolic butterflies this year, plan to look for similarities and differences between the migrations. Keep a list of comparisons all year and watch it grow. To get started, here are some things to think about:

Challenge Question #15

  • Who is responsible for the monarchs at each stage of their lives?
  • What happens when the butterflies cross national borders?
  • What obstacles might they encounter during their migration?
  • How do the butterflies find their wintering grounds?
  • Are there times during the fall, winter or spring when the entire population is at risk?

Send us your thoughts any time!
1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #15
3. In the body of the message, answer the question above.

The Next Symbolic Monarch Migration Update Will be Posted on October 27, 1999.

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Today's News Report Your Sightings Teacher's Manual Search Journey North