on February 14, 2007
Every year monarch butterflies start a 2000-mile 1-month journey to several places along the California Coast from Big Sur to Santa Cruz. Nearly hundreds of thousand make this trip yearly first arriving to the Cali coast in late summer to early Fall. It is all for the procreation of their species. Urbanization in California has reduced the mating places to a few. And none of them are better than the Monarch Grove in Pacific Grove AKA Butterfly Town, USA. During these late summer months and early fall months you can literally see thousands of monarch butterflies clinging to trees here resting from their long journey and waiting for the temperature to get above 50 degrees F. Any lower and their wings get to brittle from them to fly. Then they start their midair courtship which culminates with them falling to the ground and finishing there mating.It is amazing seeing a large mass of butterflies covering the trees there to the point that you can't really make out leaves any more. The park itself is a good location for a nice picnic, actually it is one of my favorite places to sit and eat my newly acquired clam chowder from the wharf. It is a nice open area with a great view of the setting sun. There is actually a beach that is located down a set of stair, since the park is almost on cliff, that I have seen scuba divers swim from to scuba in the kelp bed that are just a 20-50 yards off shore from the park. At the back of the park, for the more adventure, there are some rock formations that is actually fun to climb up to get a better view of the surf breaking along the coastline. It is quite amazing when the swell is big. But be careful when those rock get wet it can be quite slippery. It is also a spot frequented by sea birds so there are quite a few droppings around the rocks.Also if you do go there during the mating season of the monarchs be sure not to disturb the butterflies as molestation of butterflies does carry a $1000.00 fine in Pacific Grove. Pacific Grove has been working aggressively in recent years to preserve these monarch habitats and trying to expand. Oh if your coming to see the monarch butterflies on the tree need to get there early once the temp gets greater than 50 degrees they start to fly off.This is another great relaxing fun thing to do in Monterey. And best of all it's free.
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