Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

in memoriam to Sonja

Danaus plexippus

Pacific Grove has two main sites where monarchs overwinter (out of an estimated 300 identified sites along California's Coast): the Monarch Grove Sanctuary and George Washington Park. The monarch count in the area is down again this year. I find it interesting that the Ventana Wildlife Society found the butterflies move between sites as much as 40 miles away throughout the winter.

By Valentine's Day (easy enough to remember), most of the monarchs will have mated and begin heading out of the area to lay eggs in the Central Valley. I like this map of monarch migrations in CA.

At some point, I'll have to post my Polaroid pics from 10 years ago when I raised almost 1000 monarch butterflies in my OH apartment. The trick was to prevent my 3 cats from playing with the adults. I hadn't meant to raise so many, but I didn't have the heart to throw away all the eggs... especially when many of the local nature centers had infection issues that killed off all their stock. I liked to call my bedroom the "butterfly love shack" - that was a fun summer!

ps 3/10/10 - I want to acknowledge my mentor Dr. Sonja Teraguchi. She shared with me the thrill of raising life, the importance of natural fluctuations, and the value of documenting my observations. Thanks to recent communications with Art and Renee, I've been reminded of her influence in my life and have especially missed her spirit and inspiration lately. Click on my lepidoptera label in memory of Sonja.