Summer Without Monarchs

Personal memory by Taylor Godek

2020 CEWest Chester, PA, USA

"When I was a kid, I remember learning all about monarch butterflies in elementary school. We learned about their life cycle, about their migration patterns, and how every year many of them would return to our area of the US to lay their eggs. I remember every May, we would begin to see hundreds of them flock to the milkweed plants in my neighbors yard. When I was a kid, we could count on the monarchs to come around every summer. As the monarchs started to disappear, I honestly started to forget about them. But when the summer of 2020 rolled around, like everyone else, I was stuck at home all spring and summer due to the pandemic. I spent more time in my backyard that year than I had since I was a kid, when the monarchs used to be everywhere. But in 2020, I didn't see the monarchs like I used to. From May until August, I must have seen fewer than 10 in total. Even my neighbor's milkweeds went untouched."