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We do sometimes wind up in trouble when we travel. And then on the other hand, we often wind up in unexpected delight. Writer Sue Halpern was minding her own business on a vacation in Mexico when she innocently agreed to go on a group hike. What she saw on that outing inspired her to spend the next seven years studying something that looks like a work of art but is, in fact, an insect.

I remember going out in grade school to collect Monarch butterflies. They are so distinctive, that deep burnt-orange color bold and easy to spot. But what I never learned back then is this: The Monarch exhibits behaviors unlike any other animal on Earth. In fact, the Monarch mystery intrigues thousands of scientists and lay people as well. Sue Halpern says she'll never forget her first encounter with 30 million Monarchs which, incredibly, had just flown 3,000 miles to land in a Mexican forest.

Sue Halpern's new book is called "Four Wings and a Prayer."

Interview: Sue Halpern's Monarch Madness


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You can get your very own copy of Four Wings and a Prayer at Amazon.com, and help support the Savvy Traveler in the process!

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