Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ten Thousand Butterflies

On our way back to Monterey from Big Sur, we made a stop in Pacific Grove, California.  We wanted to see what a cluster of ten thousand Monarch butterflies looked like.

those brownish clusters are ALL butterflies!

Every year, Monarch butterflies migrate south to find somewhere warm to spend the winter.  Pacific Grove, on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, is one place they can always be found.  They like the Monterey pines, eucalyptus trees, and morning fog that so often shrouds the area.


We easily found the location of the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, parking and admission are both completely free.  Love that :)!

The minute we were out of the car we were noticing butterflies flitting about.  A little path led us to the grove of trees and the huge clusters of butterflies.  There was a docent there with a spotting scope for everyone to use to get a very up close look.  She was also happy to answer any questions.  So nice :)  I would definitely say to go when a docent will be there, the use of the scope and information provided really added to the experience.

We each took a turn using the scope and I was surprised that the butterflies in the cluster looked brown, not the orange and black I expected.  The docent told us this is because they hang with their wings folded and the underside is what you see.

We took a walk on the path through the grove and admired the pretty flowers, birds, trees, and of course more butterflies.

see the hummingbird feeding at the bottom of the flower?

Such an interesting place and we learned some neat facts about the Monarchs.  Did you know that these delicate looking insects fly 100 miles each day for a total of up to 2,000 miles to reach their winter homes?  Or that they fly at heights up to 10,000 feet?  Crazy, isn't it.  They are tougher than they look!

I am so glad that our kids are able to experience places like this.  The world is their classroom and it is AWESOME :)

No day at the beach would be complete without stopping to watch the sunset.  Love, love, love...


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