Spend five minutes underwater with our fellow species?  Wondrous — and fragile.  (Thanks, Mel!)

Ashore, 43 summers ago, my first ever on Fire Island, a blanket of Monarch butterflies appeared the weekend after Labor Day.  Unexpected and glorious.  Every summer since I’ve looked forward to their September 10 return, even as their numbers have dwindled.  This year, a single Monarch made it to my deck.   Flapping and fluttering; flitting.  But in a low-energy, perhaps even desperate way, I thought.  Alone on the deck with me under a bright blue empty sky.

Which species, if either — man or monarch — will be around in 500 years?



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