On Friday, Nov. 24, the rangers at Ardenwood Regional Farm offered a tour of the area where the monarch butterflies stop in their winter journey to Mexico. Several of us took advantage of the opportunity. The weather was great. We had time to tour the farm before the talk. There were numerous groups of grandparents, grandchildren, and young families enjoying the farm experience. It was also a great opportunity to find out more about these beautiful insects
Monarchs are miraculous creatures. Every year they fly north to Southern Canada and then back again to Mexico. On the trip south, every butterfly makes the trip in one go. Three generations make the trip north. How do they know where to go? How do they know where the milkweed will be to lay their eggs on and for the new caterpillars to feed on? How do they find the same grove of eucalyptus to rest in? We saw a stand of milkweed with a few eggs and caterpillars on them.
We all walked out to the grove after the ranger talk stood for a moment under the trees. Then we became aware of hundreds of beautiful butterflies flitting about in and out of the tree branches. It was truly an awesome experience. What a great way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.