I recently went on a road trip To NorCal for the chowder festival and cook-off and the Ellwood Mesa Butterfly Grove was a great little pit stop adventure. You can check out the website for the grove here at the official website. This place is one of the largest Monarch sites in California where you can come see large amounts of them in nature.
You have to really get in a good stroll into the eucalyptus tree forest to see them. The further you go the better chance to see them.
It really was the perfect day to take a walk except I was wearing boots and it was hot. My feet got super sweaty but to see the sunshine through the trees like this was well worth it all.
There were some backyards of houses along the hiking trail and got super excited to see someone keeping chickens. I LOVE chickens even though the chicken we had growing up was kind of mean sometimes. Most of the time she was sweet and just loved sitting in the backyard with her in my lap massaging her neck. She would make really cute low clucks and have a relaxed squinty look on her face.
The trail is both gorgeous and a bit spooky at the same time.
The trail lead all the way to a cliff and the ocean. I love views like this, it just makes you feel that the world goes on forever.
This is the view looking away from the ocean.
Who could not love living here?
This was the only picture I could get of any of the butterflies flying. They were up really high in the trees and looking at them with the super zoom on made me motion sick after awhile. This was not a good year to see the butterfly clusters according to some locals. I was still amazed by how many we did see.
I got super lucky and caught these two making butterfly babies. These two landed right next to us and scared the crap outta me. As soon as I got my wits back I quickly snapped these two shots.
Monarch butterflies are really special and hold a close meaning to our family. When my grandmother was a young girl in Mexico she remembered how beautiful the migration of the butterflies was. After she passed away we all would see a monarch butterfly on special holidays but mostly on her birthday. It could all be a nice coincidence but we all find comfort in just believing that it's a sign that she's with us still and watching over us.
My favorite time of day is sunset and being able to see the world in a warm golden glow. There's no better way to spend the end of your day than looking out the window and just seeing the world around you and just thinking "Wow". Sometimes you just have to step back and take it all in.