The Monarchs Are Back

The trees are not resplendent with as many fall colors here in California, but that’s because our foliage turns another kind of orange: the fluttery, migrating kind. See Exhibit A: a cluster of Monarch butterflies hanging from their winter home in the eucalyptus¬†grove of Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz.

IMG_0873They arrive sometime in October and hang out until February, unless a rare California storm evicts them a bit earlier. We go visit our fluttery friends at least once a year, because their grove happens to be at one of my favorite California beaches. We never tire of our visits. The truth is that the butterflies are just so darn mesmerizing. We lay on the wooden deck and look up.


We sit still, breathe, and watch the monarchs fill the sky above with beauty. Those moments are rare and make our frequent trips to the grove oh-so-worth-it. And anything that can get my kid to sit still and meditate quietly, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, can truly be called awe inspiring.


I’m sharing these photos at Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday. Go there to check out all the other inspiring photos.


Things To Do
Santa Cruz

17 Responses to “The Monarchs Are Back”

  1. 1 Sarah V. October 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    That’s amazing! I’m always thrilled when I see ONE butterfly, I can’t imagine witnessing something like this.

  2. 2 Marina K Villatoro October 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    It would be a great experience to see all those butterflies together… it’s just beautiful… thanks for sharing :)

  3. 3 Lora October 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    We have a trip planned for beginning of November. I can’t wait. Thanks for the photos!

  4. 4 Cate October 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I love these butterflies, but I’ve been lucky just to see the odd one or two never so many.

  5. 5 [email protected] October 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    How cool! That second picture looks like those little guys lined up just for your picture. The closest I have come to this is a butterfly garden and we were completely in awe the whole time!

  6. 6 TheWordWire October 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You might have just inspired a road trip!

  7. 7 Bethe Almeras October 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    W/o a doubt, the best nature experience I have ever had is seeing the monarchs in CA & MX. Beyond belief!!!

    Thanks for sharing! – Bethe @balmeras

  8. 8 Heather on her travels October 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Wonderful – they look like little blossoms

  9. 9 Debi October 30, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I SO want to go do this! Thanks for sharing such wonderful photos!

  10. 10 Sharlene October 30, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I have been wanting to see the monarchs for years but never manage to make it. Hopefully this year will be my lucky year.

  11. 11 Angela K. Nickerson October 30, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    When I was a little girl in Texas, we went out in the front yard one morning and one of our trees was covered with thousands of monarchs. They were gone by afternoon, and I’ve never seen anything like it since. It was absolutely magical. Thanks for taking me back!

  12. 12 Amy @ The Q Family November 1, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Oh.. How neat!

  13. 13 havebabywilltravel November 1, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I would love to see this in person. A good excuse to visit California in the Fall!

  14. 14 AP. November 2, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Beautiful pictures Caro!

  15. 15 Dominique November 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    And here I thought our fall foliage was so pretty and colorful!
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. 16 Lorraine November 3, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Fantastic photographs – pure perfection! Love the part about 5 minutes of peace in there also!

  17. 17 you know who November 9, 2009 at 2:09 am

    awesome photos c! i miss the monarch groves. how they’d land on you. fewer monarchs made it this year, i’ve heard. on a walk, we found a monarch caterpillar and saved it from the birds by bringing it indoors with some milkweed leaves. it pupated, chrysalis and all, and was released and hopefully, made it south in time!

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