Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meet the Monarchs

We went to one of our favorite places this weekend. It is a old farm from the days when there were actually farms here in Silicon Valley. We purposely went at this time of year to see the Monarchs that winter in the trees at this farm. Evidently there are usually thousands of butterflies that come down from Canada to winter in a small grove of Eucalyptus trees that were planted here on this farm. The last few years there have only been a few hundred. This year they estimate that there are about 500 monarch butterflies. It was pretty impressive to see there clustered in bunches in the trees. It is hard to see them in these pictures. They are up high and also when they are closed up the underside isn't as bright and tends to blend in. We picked a great day to come because a storm was coming so it was slightly warm and the butterflies were a bit more fluttery. We saw many of them flitting about in the small grove. It was really amazing to see that many butterflies at once. I can only image what it is like when there are thousands flapping around above you.

In the green house they had a few milkweed plants with caterpillars and a few chrystalis for us to look at.

We had a great time just wondering around the farm and looking at all the different animals and trees that they have there.
We happened to catch the Peacock while he was all puffed up and trying to impress the hens.
This peacock just couldn't quite compete.

On the drive home we watched the storm clouds roll in. Sophie made the observation that the clouds looked like a Georgia O'Keefe painting. It think she was right! I had to grin thinking how long ago we studied O'Keefe in our art studies but she still remembers her work well.

It was a lovely afternoon out in nature. It is a good thing too since we are stuck inside for the next few days because evidently it isn't just one storm that was expected but we are going to be wet all week as storm after storm rolls in.


Karen said...

'm glad that Sophie knows my favorite artist!

Bibliophile said...

You have such interesting places to visit around you! Thanks for including the photos of the butterflies and the pupa (or whatever it's called.)

the lazy reader said...