Monday, October 24, 2011

Snowbirds (of sorts)

I thought I'd give you all a break from all the Red Rocks. We just returned from a roadie to the central coast of California. There is a grove of trees in Pismo Beach State Park that is the largest wintering spot for Monarch butterflies in the western U.S. We were a few weeks early, but there were plenty already arriving from their long journey from the north (Canada mostly). The migration takes so long that NONE of the butterflies who started on the journey south, are alive when they return home. Talk about nature doing amazing things... It's just one more thing that I can't really get my mind around. That's enough words for today, so here are some pics.









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52 comments:

Baby Sister said...

Wow. That is just incredible!! Those pictures are stunningly beautiful!!

TexWisGirl said...

wow, that must be something to see! thanks for sharing these wonders!

Magia da Inês said...

°º♫
°º✿
º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.
Passei para uma visitinha.
Belos clicks!...
Já tentei fotografar a metamorfose de uma borboleta que tinha um casulo numa planta do meu jardim... não consegui... ela foi mais rápida do que eu...
Boa semana!
Beijos.
Brasil°º♫
°º✿
º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, the pine tree looks more like a butterfly tree!

Ebie said...

Thanks for the heads up. Our group has a scheduled field trip to see the monarchs. It must be pretty in a few more weeks.

tapirgal said...

The eucalyptus and the monarchs are both fond memories. Thanks for this!!!

Ms. A said...

Oh my gosh, Pat, they look like they are growing on the trees! That's a lot of butterflies!

Budd said...

you go to the coolest places.

Ms. Becky said...

wow, that is really a sight to see, especially enlarged as you say. oh yeah. truth be told, I can't really wrap my head around the fact that they begin the journey and none survive either...
great shots Pat. happy day to you.

Pearl said...

The secret lives of butterflies...

I had no idea.

Pearl

Jerry said...

Outstanding indeed!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I didn't even notice the butterflies in the first one until I enlarged it. These are priceless photos, Pat.
xoRobyn

Belle said...

I've never seen hordes of Monarchs myself. This is wonderful! I think I recognize some eucalyptus trees there. I remember how they grow all over California.

Nariane said...

Those are amazing! That must have been thrilling to see.

thanks for sharing

:)

Pam said...

Your photos are fantastic, Pat.
That must have been an amazing sight to see in person.. green with envy here.
Thanks for the journey,
Pam

Lolamouse said...

Those pictures are just incredibly amazing! I'm glad you said to enlarge them because I couldn't tell they were butterflies until I did! They're SO beautiful! I'd love to see that some day. Thank you for all the kind comments on my blog as well.

SquirrelQueen said...

Oh wow, it you were there early it must be an incredible sight when they all arrive. I have heard about this and would love to see it in person someday.

Love your second shot of the limb against the blue sky.

Pat Tillett said...

Baby Sister - thanks! The actual view was even better.

TexWisGirl - It sure was! My pleasure.

Magia - thanks so much. Yep, the arrive and a new group leaves.

Alex - In a few weeks, even much more so.

Ebie - My pleasure! I hope everybody enjoys them.

tapirgal - My pleasure! I figured if anybody reading this has been to that spot, it would be you...

Ms. A - They sure do. A lot them (with wings closed) just look like leaves.

Budd - We sure do try! Most of our trips are taken in our RV and are pretty low cost.

Ms. Becky - It sure was! I'm with you. I can't even fathom that. I guess it's knowledge on a genetic level...

Pearl - Yep! What's also weird, is that there are the same kind of trees EVERYWHERE up there, but the majority go to the exact same spot every year for ever...

faye said...

You are too funny... I am still laughing about your sweet little post... if ..
NONE of the butterflies who started on the journey south, are alive when they return home...
how do they get home ???

Martha Z said...

We have see this when visiting friends in Santa Cruz.

laughingmom said...

AWESOME pictures (as usual), but WOW would I love to see that in person - I did see an Imax movie once about migration that showed the end point of the monarchs journey. Have always wanted to see it!!

Warren Zoell said...

They're all over the place up here in the summer and the birds won't eat them. Too bitter I hear.

Leovi said...

Very nice all, with the colors of autumn. Magnificent as you have captured.

Reka Sang said...

So many in one place...fabulous pics to look at. I guess it must been amazing in real time too.

Brian said...

Amazing photos Pat! I love to watch the butterflies flutter by!

Cezar and Léia said...

Mother Nature there is very generous, a blessing place.These pictures are awesome, so many beautiful details!
Please, say hello to my friend Batman!
purrs and love
Luna - WE LOVE LUNA and hugs from my mammy Léia

Pat Tillett said...

Jerry - thanks Jerry!

Robyn - Thanks Robyn! Yes, it's pine tree, so all those (not bright) things that look like leaves are also Monarchs with their wings closed.

Belle - Yes, they seem to like both pine and eucalyptus trees. You are right about eucalyptus trees being commmon here.

Nariane - It was quite a treat, that's for sure. My pleasure!

Pam - Thanks Pam! I was amazed to find out that this was only a small percentage of what was to come when thousands more arrive in the coming few weeks. Too bad we had to leave...

Lolamouse - Thanks! If you ever get the chance to go, there's a new batch every year!

Squirrel Queen - Yep, that's what I was told. We were lucky to even see that blue sky. We were there for a week and it was VERY foggy most of the time.

Pat Tillett said...

faye - No, you are funny! They must have GPS. I guess it's like the trout and salmon who are tracked and always come back to a spot within a few inches of where they spawned the year before.

Martha Z - Another beautiful place (Santa Cruz).

laughingmom - Thanks so much! I can't even imagine something that fragile traveling thousands of miles and taking a couple of generations each year to do it. It's amazing...

Warren - I'm glad we get to enjoy them down here during the winter. The sap they ear from pine trees has something toxic to birds, so they get a free pass.

Leovi - Thanks Leovi! They are very beautiful.

Reka - It truly was a sight to see. I wish our trip would have been a couple of weeks later though. Thanks Reka!

Brian - Thanks Brian! They are so nice to see fluttering!

Cezar and Leia - Thanks so much! I truly appreciate the nice words.

missing moments said...

That was cool to see. But why make the journey if you are just going to die. Mother Nature is odd sometimes!

Clarissa Draper said...

Trees are so beautiful!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

how wonderful!
so glad to see those.

hope you're having a great day!

Sharon Wagner said...

That is amazing! What a sight. The trees dripping with butterflies. Thanks for all your blog comments. You went above and beyond.

#1Nana said...

They are amazing. I've noticed that I rarely see butterflies here in Eastern Oregon...or eucalyptus trees either. Beautiful photos.

Pat Tillett said...

missing moments - I actualy have an answer to that question. Along with bees, butterflies are a major pollinator. The only problem is that they can't survive the harsh winters. Their lifespan is so short that it takes a couple of generations to make the trip.

Clarissa - Thanks Clarissa!

Betty M - Thanks! It was a great sight. Right back at ya!

Sharon - It sure was and it gets better. You are welcome!

#1Nana - We see some butterflies here, but not nearly what we used to see. Thanks!

Chuck said...

Great shots Pat! What is that, like a billion butterflys?? What a cool bit of triva to learn today. Thanks!

Marlene said...

WOW - thank you for that. Do you know, I have not seen ONE single Monarch butterfly here yet this year. :(

Pat Tillett said...

Chuck - At least a bazillion! I thought the same thing when I did a little research on them. Thanks Chuck!

Marlene - Thanks Marlene! We saw a few around our house a few weeks ago, but nothing sense.

lynne said...

Well Lynne would have danced a jig if she saw that.....I mean how does that occur so many butterflies in one place like that.. that is absolutely amazing..

yes sir, i'm back on your trail now..
excellent as always

Pat Tillett said...

Lynne - If I knew how to do a jig, I might have! Thanks so much, it's nice seeing you here...

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Wow, Pat! I've heard about the monarch migrations, but never seen one. Thanks to your blog, I can now say that I have. :)
Rosemary

Marguerite said...

Amazing shots! You do travel to some interesting places. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindy MacDuff said...

Wow - how amazing that has to be "in person!"

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my "Bloody Basin Road" sign. Yes, I agree - there are A LOT of great signs in the desert areas.

Pat Tillett said...

Rosemary - It was just another public service blog post! Thanks Rosemary!

Marguerite - Thanks so much Maguerite! We do get around. Lot's of driving...

Draven Ames said...

Nature can do some amazing things, can't it? Beautiful pictures.

Francisca said...

Mother Nature at her best is awe-inspiring. I think her increasing temper tantrums around the globe are a response to our violence against her. ( I enlarged them all.)

KarenG said...

I like your travel reports and photos, as so far they have been of places we enjoyed visiting when we lived in California. We still enjoy many spots in Utah, we've lived here 20 years and haven't seen it all.

becca said...

gorgeous

Dawn said...

I truly love that second shot. Brilliant.

Shrinky said...

I've arrived late in here, all I can do is echo what the others have said. You have a wonderful eye for a frame, Pat.

James said...

That must be amazing! It's like the trees are blooming!

Anthony J. Langford said...

Definitely enlarged. Awesome shots.

Looks very much like a eucalyptus tree.

=]

Jenny said...

How amazing! We're hoping to sell my husbands company second quarter of next year...then we can do all this cool travelling like you!

You're our hero!