Monday, January 9, 2012

the Monarchs

Here in Santa Cruz, we have a Monarch Butterfly grove. For some reason, that fact had completely slipped our mind and we've almost missed them this year. They usually arrive some time in October and leave around the first of February.

Realizing that the time has almost passed, we thought we'd better hustle and go see how many were still around.

NOTE: I know I mention it a lot, but for these pictures in particular, they really look much better if you open them full size in a new window.

The grove is located at Natural Bridges State Park.
They've kindly built a boardwalk
that meanders through the eucalyptus trees
back to where most of the butterflies hang out.

There's also a freshwater lagoon.

The water is covered
with a green algae like substance.
It's not smelly or scummy,
and it's a pale shade of green.

The ducks like nothing better
than to glide along
with their beaks in the water,
scooping up the "goop"

We went all the way to the end of the boardwalk
and didn't see more than a dozen butterflies.
Oh no, had we waited too long?
Then we looked up . . .

These pictures are pretty dark,
it was pretty late in the day,
and the grove is heavily wooded.

And since the butterflies
were about forty feet up in the air,
it's a good thing
the new camera has a 35x zoom!

I never did get the shot I really wanted,
but at least I caught a few of these beauties.

There were also calla lilies.

This is my favorite shot of the day.
I tried it with both the camera and my iPhone.
For this shot, the iPhone did a better job.
I was mesmerized by the grain in this board.

After a walk down to the beach,
I took this shot of my sweet man.

We may try to go see these beauties again before they leave for the year. If we do, we'll go on a warm day and try to get there a little earlier in the day.

We also have plans to go and see the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo soon. If we take a day off every now and then, we've found it's better to go and do something really fun.

It keeps us motivated
and reminds us of what we're working for.


Judy and Emma said...

I'd sure like to see all those butterflies.

Jim and Sandie said...

I'm with Judy - I would love to see all those butterflies.

Teri said...

I never realized there would be a place with all of the butterflies together like that. Cool.

Lorna... said...

OK, getting off my butt now. Done talking about it ...Cam and I will head that way the end of this week. Thanks for the boost. Instead of "..fingers do the walking" "let the pictures do the prodding"!

photowannabe said...

So glad you made the trip and that you take a few days off here and there. It makes your goal more attainable.
Have a great rest of the week.

Gaelyn said...

Wow, that's a Whole lot of butterflies. Also like the wood grain, very artsy.

Donna K said...

That board almost looks like it has been carved by water or wind. Very nice. What a joy to see all of the butterflies. thanks for sharing all that beauty with us.