"Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach."(http://www.monarchbutterfly.org/grove.htm)This past Friday I decided to visit Monarch Grove in Pismo Beach. I hadn't been there in years. I can't remember if it was on school field trips or if my mom took my brother and I, or both, but I remember seeing the thousands of butterflies and being in awe.
This visit, while not quite how I remember it from my childhood, was still fascinating. Sometimes things seem bigger and grander when you are a kid and it is just a matter of perspective. Sometimes things actually change and things really aren't quite the same. This visit would fall into the latter category.
The butterflies were still beautiful, but there weren't nearly as many as I remember. Looking at the historical counts listed on the Monarch Grove website back in 1990-1991 the butterfly count was around 230,000; this year it is only 26,060. Definitely as massive change. I'm not sure why the significant drop, I should have asked one of the park docents. I thought that the information would be on their web page but I can't seem to find it.
During my visit I followed the park trail out to the Pismo dunes to enjoy the fantastic view in addition to checking out the butterflies. Here are my pics from that afternoon. I hope you enjoy them!
Bridge to nowhere
Beach wood, a fallen log that I sat on to enjoy the view
Its hard to tell in the smaller picture but all of the orange spots in the tree are butterflies!