The monarchs arrive in Mexico in November and leave to return north in mid-March.

I photographed this image on March 7, and you can tell it has been a long winter. This monarch’s wings have taken quite a beating, especially the scales! This guy looks like he has been through war.

Monarch Butterfly Wings Close up of monarch butterfly wings and scales, El Rosario, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. Canon 1Dx. 180mm macro. ISO 800. f/16 @1/100 second.