Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly

Coming Soon!

Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is a documentary film that tells the story of the monarch butterfly at it unfolds along the shores of Cape Ann and in the heart of Mexico’s forested volcanic mountains. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Angangueo, Michoacán, the film illuminates how two communities, separated by 3,000 miles, are ecologically interconnected.

Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from egg to caterpillar to adult. Set against the background of sea and forest, sun and wind, by the millions and millions the intrepid monarchs journey thousands of miles. The most magical thing is that this migration happens in our midst, taking place in backyards, farms, meadows, and along the shoreline, wherever milkweed and wildflowers grow.

The monarch’s life story is one of nature’s most incredible examples of adaptation and survival. There are no other butterflies in the world that journey thousands of miles over such a great and vast area, ecologically linking Canada and Mexico, to nearly every region within the United States.

The story opens in the industrial port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Well known for her legendary fishing industry, Schooner Festival, Italian feasts and fiestas, rich artistic heritage, and stunning coastline, Gloucester makes up much of the peninsula of Cape Ann, located on the coast of Massachusetts just north of Boston.

As are most regions along the length of the Eastern Seaboard, Cape Ann lies within a largely unrestricted north-south corridor for migratory species of birds and butterflies. This means that birds, butterflies, and other insects travel along the Atlantic flyway without being impeded by either mountain ranges or large bodies of water to cross. There is a tremendous sense of urgency in this great movement of life. Whether traveling by land or by sea, wildlife must reach its seasonal destination while life-sustaining food is abundant.

Cape Ann and Angangueo emerge as characters in the film, places where we have much to gain by preserving the habitats of these unique ecosystems and where, through neglect, the loss will be devastating.

Beauty on the Wing is a film for all ages, created for all to gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between habitats, wildflowers, and pollinators, and the vital role that they play in our interconnected ecosystems.

9 thoughts on “Film

  1. Vic Madamba

    I can’t wait for this film. Will there be a CD. Have doing Monarch Tagging and Oe sampling for 5 years and have been doing presentation to school kids. Also, I am a Texas Master Naturalist – Galveston Bay Chapter.

    1. Kim Smith Post author

      Thanks Vic. You are doing great work,.

      Yes, there will be a CD and I plan to do screenings throughout the country. Thank you for your interest. Updates will be posted here.

  2. Dan and Claire

    Kim, I am very interested in planting authentic milkweed plants all around our property here in Gloucester. I have heard there is an invasive kind of “milkweed imposter” plant that even deceives the Monarch Butterflies, who lay their eggs on it, and it is then toxic to the larvae when they hatch and eat it. Some plant and seed suppliers were unknowingly selling this faux plant. Can you advise me about the best source for the real Milkweed plants?


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