Asilomar – Empty spools.

Its 9.00 pm and I admit to not staying for the lecture tonight. In fact it’s the first time I’ve missed a lecture at an event ever, but I wanted to go over my class notes and presentations and I’m still working on a couple of papers that need to be finished in a day or so. 
I will be there to cheer on all the other Tutors in the next few days though. Just give me one night off please.
Yesterday was a long day of travel and I arrived here 11 hours after I left Alamogordo. The airlines are having it tough due to bad weather in different parts of the USA so everything was in chaos in LA.
You just have to be patient, there are a lot of people worse off than me.
I slept fitfully last night, I had too much going on in the head, so I was up early and with cameras set I braved the elements and  photographed.  It was wonderful on the beach, the air smelled like salt water and pine bark. The waves crashed on to the grey beach and the sun hid until about 10.00 am.
At breakfast this morning some of the ladies told me about Pacific Groves Monarch Butterflies.
This is what I went to see today…. it was breathtaking.
Every October, thousands of butterflies make a stop in a Pacific Grove eucalyptus grove, the preferred Monarch butterfly habitat, during their migration to warmer climates. The butterflies hang in clusters from eucalyptus branches to maintain body temperature, and the resulting effect is stunning.
Monarch butterflies are not able to survive the cold winters of most of the United States so they migrate south and west each autumn to escape the cold weather. The migration usually starts in about October of each year, but can start earlier if the weather turns cold sooner than that.
They will spend their winter hibernation in Mexico and some parts of Southern California where it is warm all year long. If they live in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, they will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. If they   live west of the Rocky Mountains, they  will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees. Monarch butterflies use the very same trees each and every year when they migrate, which seems odd because they aren’t the same butterflies that were there last year. These are the new fourth generation of butterflies, so how do they know which trees are the right ones to hibernate in? Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year. I was thrilled to grab some eucalyptus leaves… those monarchs have good taste.
Classes began this afternoon  and there was a great deal of expectancy in the air.
Trollies rattled over the paved pathways, machines, boxes of supplies and fabric stashes made their way into classrooms of all description. We are almost on the beach, I’m in heaven.
But right now I need to sleep.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen Fitzpatrick says:

    Your photos are gorgeous as usual! I’m glad you gave yourself a minute off to rest. I know you mentioned a few books recently. Have you read the novel Flight Behavior by Babara Kingsolver? It centers around the Monarch’s migration and is wonderful!

  2. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    I really love the first picture in your post of the seaweed in the sand.

  3. Candy says:

    I have seen the butterflies en masse on a native bush at Mt Torrens…SA! Fantastic photos Pam. Love that Mediterranean blue.

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