Monarch Butterfly (1)

Posted: January 26, 2014 in Butterflies and Moths, Natural History
Tags: , ,

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One of the great things about photography and particularly digital photography is the ability to store and readily access images which are capable of reminding you of places and events that you have visited. So as I sit here on a cold and wet winters morning in London sorting through some pictures for a lecture I have to give next week, I came across a file of photos taken when Sue and I visited California in 2008. One of the great delights on that trip was the visit to Pacific Grove. Pacific Grove is a seaside community on the Monterey Peninsula, which is famous for over wintering Monarch butterflies. Every October, thousands of them arrive from the north and make their home in a special area of eucalyptus trees and Monterey pines, which shelters behind some houses. The entrance to the park is not obvious, but the helpful bus driver pointed us in the right direction. and there beyond and behind the houses was a truly marvellous sight.

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Each October since 1939, Pacific Grove has celebrated their arrival with a welcoming Butterfly Parade, featuring school children dressed in wings. A 1939 city ordinance authorizes a $1,000 fine (a lot of money in 1939) for “molesting a butterfly in any way.” The people of Pacific Grove have had a long love affair with their butterfly guests and take their protection very seriously.

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