Saw these images and the following post on Facebook yesterday from the National Weather Service. Eventually, this made me really giddy:
“Keen observers of our radar data probably noticed some fairly high returns moving south over southern Illinois and central Missouri. High differential reflectivity values as well as low correlation coefficient values indicate these are most likely biological targets. High differential reflectivity indicates these are oblate targets, and low correlation coefficient means the targets are changing shape. We think these targets are Monarch butterflies. A Monarch in flight would look oblate to the radar, and flapping wings would account for the changing shape! NWS St. Louis wishes good luck and a safe journey to these amazing little creatures on their long journey south!”
I say “eventually” because I had to read this post about ten times to figure out what it was saying. Is it an oversimplification to summarize and say that satellite data shows monarchs heading out-of-town? This is the coolest thing ever.
For whatever reason, the thought of these lovely creatures passing through town brought the phrase “traveling mercies” to mind.
“Traveling Mercies,” the old people at our church…say when one of us goes off for a while. Traveling mercies: love the journey, God is with you, come home safe and sound.” — Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies
Traveling mercies, pretty fellas. And thank you for giving us more reasons to love our own journey.