I had a decent flight this morning but it got windy pretty quickly. The clouds were moving fast while I ate lunch, and I decided against an afternoon flight in favor of going out to see the Monarch butterflies at the Sanctuary in Piedra Herrada. There are thousands of butterflies that stop there, and I haven’t been out to see them before (although I have flown over the mountain they live on). Plus, the taxi driver we’ve been using regularly said he wanted to take me out there ‘for free, because we are friends now.’ Not one to pass up a free taxi ride, I messaged him and we got there around 4pm. They told us we had to ride a horse up because the hike was too long/steep to start at that time of day, so 400 pesos later, away we went on some small horses that I felt kinda bad for because I know I’m perfectly capable of walking up a hill (even a steep one). I felt a little better after I talked to the guide walking the horse (on foot, it seems silly that I have to ride and he has to walk with the horse), and he said that the horses only do one trip up and back a day and that tomorrow was his and the horse’s day off. My horse’s name was Lady. It’s funny how animals here are often given names in English. Ultimately, the butterflies were beautiful! It was pretty cold up where they hang out in the trees (we were at almost 10,500 ft and the sun was down behind the trees). Mostly they were clinging to the branches in big clumps, and all over the trunks of the trees to where it looked like the trunks had a strange raised texture. In the spots where the sun was still reaching through the trees there were quite a few flying around, and if you were quiet you could hear their collective wings making a whispery, fluttery noise. There were also lots of dead/dying butterflies on the ground. It seems like some of them do get too cold, and die from exposure. They feed on the flowering plants and shrubs up there, and they prefer to hang out at he high elevation because it slows their metabolism and they require less food.