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Spreading her wings, Oakland woman followed her butterflies to Mexico | Home & Garden [Video]

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Julie Johnson was astonished as the proud guide pulled the tags from his wallet.

Two of the monarch butterflies she had hatched 1,786 miles away in Oakland, Nebraska, had made it to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere in Michoacán, Mexico.

Julie Johnson raises monarch butterflies in her gardens, tags them (and wild specimens that she nets) and tracks their movements with the Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas.

It made an intense horseback ride up the mountains to the World Heritage Site last spring worthwhile for her and husband Terry.

“He doesn’t like horses, but he did it anyway,” Julie says. “It was quite a ride.”

Julie and Terry Johnson at the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere in Michoacán, Mexico last spring.

Julie, a grocery store owner in Oakland, has been raising and tagging butterflies for six years — 500 of them — since seeing it done on a visit to Hitchcock …

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