Monday, February 9, 2009

Monarchs at Pacific Grove Sanctuary

About a month ago I visited Pacific Grove's Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Other family members who also attended were my husband and my daughter Red. As a matter of fact, Red posted her photos on her blog several weeks ago. If you haven't visited her blog yet, here is the link to the Monarch Butterfly post.

As we were walking around the grounds we came upon a building which caught my curiosity. Apparently, Pacific Grove had a military academy back in the 1920s. I haven't been able to locate any information on this school. But it's obvious that all or most of Monterey and Pacific Grove were owned by Del Monte.

As you can see in this photo (below), we had a beautiful blue sky that day. And I got a cool shot of the first quarter moon of January. Funny thing, though -- it looks more like half moon than quarter moon.

Now take a close look at this photo. If necessary, click on it to get a larger view. What you think you see is nothing but brown "leaves" hanging or dangling from the trees branches. But look more closely. Those are monarch butterflies. I never knew that was how they exist during the winter months here in California.
Here is a close-up of another area where the butterflies were "hanging out." You can easily see the butterflies in this photo. When the sun warms their wings they get active, and even flutter around for awhile before "settling down" again.

Here is another "distant" view where there were several "clumps" all over this tree.

And here is another close-up. Aren't these critters beautiful?


Linda in Erie said...

I had no idea that the Monarchs spent winter in CA like they do in Mexico. I watched the PBS show about Monarchs a week or so ago and they never mentioned that fact. They sure look beautiful hanging from the tree in those clumps. Great photos.

Red said...

It's about time! ;)

Great pics... your "distant" ones turned out better than mine. Must have been the settings. I don't remember, which camera were you using?

And I'll bet the butterflies are starting to mate now. We should hit Natural Bridges on Monday... surely we can count birds there too and see if the Monarchs are still around.

Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red said...

that was me ^ double post...

while I'm at it...

Linda, the ones in Mexico are probably the Eastern Monarchs. These were the Western Monarchs coming down from Canada.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That is an impressive sight.

mon@rch said...

from one mon@rch to another monarch . . . this looks like TRUE paradise! Or maybe this is the union meeting that I missed?

RuthieJ said...

Those are amazing pictures Mary. I would like to see huge bunches of monarchs like that some day.

Diane C. said...

It must have been thrilling to be at the butterfly sanctuary. Your pictures are fascinating! Some of the wings look like tiny stained glass windows.

Mary C said...

Linda - thank you. You may have already noticed that Red (my daughter) commented that these monarch butterflies come from the western U.S. and western Canada. So the numbers are never as large as the ones found in Mexico. Besides, it's nice to know we have only a short distance to drive to see these beautiful wonders.

Red - maybe we can try for next Monday. Today would not have been a good day. I'm wondering if the monarchs will "dry out" by next week. ;o)

Ruth H - thank you.

Monarch - I thought I saw you there at the union meeting! ;o)

Ruthie - If you come visit your brother for a little longer next year..., or just come visit Red and me! ;o)

Diane - thank you. Oh, you hit the nail on the head! When I posted this I was trying to think of what they reminded me of, and that's it! Tiny stained glass windows! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for stopping by; I will certainly stop by your blog as well.

Gecko said...

Is that the chimney in the second photo? How unique!

Mary C said...

Hi Gecko - thanks for visiting. Yes, that is certainly a unique chimney with all rocks used for building material.

Mary said...

Mary, I remember reading this but I didn't comment! How'd THAT happen... I've never seen so many Monarchs. It's amazing.

I like your new look here. I've been away for a while - just catching up!


Leedra said...

Always like the daytime moon photos.

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Monterey Bay Pacific Coast LifeStyles Network said...

Wow, great shots you took !! I think I need to get over the Pacific Grove and get some pictures for our - Monterey Bay Pacific Coast Network - I have covered a lot on the website but never the Monarch Butterfly's.

Anyways great site you have, I'll be heading over to check out your daughters pics also !!
Wished I saw these pictures a few months ago.

Anyways - keep up the great work and post some more pics if you have them, I'll follow along and be back soon!!

I must say you have an AWESOME SITE !! If you happen to get a little time please stop by my blog and say Hi!!
The Monterey Bay Pacific Coast Network
Thanks LaVern Williams

Mary C said...

Hi LaVern - thank you for visiting my blog. I'll be sure to visit yours very soon. I just returned from a two-week vacation and I'm trying to catch up with all my emails and blog comments, etc. I do hope that I'll have the opportunity to revisit the Pacific Grove site in January. I also want to visit the site by Natural Bridges. I sure hope there will be plenty of butterflies again, like last year, but I heard that the storm we had in October may have caused the butterflies to go elsewhere.


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