MONARCH HABITAT SANCTUARY
There's a very quiet, peaceful, almost magical place you can experience during your visit to the RV Park in the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. During the months of November thru February, you can take a short trip over to Pacific Grove and check out the Monarch Habitat Sanctuary.
This little park has a unique micro-climate that is perfect for the butterflies. The Eucalyptus, Cypress and Monterey Pine trees provide shelter for the Monarch clusters. The Australian Eucalyptus also blooms during the winter and provides the necessary nectar the butterflies need for food.
It's so quiet in the sanc
tuary. People speak in hushed tones so as not to startle the butterflies. It really is amazing to see them hang in such huge clusters or find them in masses on the ground. You may have to be very careful where you step!
The Monarch butterfly can not tolerate freezing temperatures, so it migrates to a place where it's not too cold to kill it, but not too warm to sap all its energy. Monarchs come to Pacific Grove from the Rocky Mountains. They fly up to 200 miles a day to get here.
But the real question is, while some animals migrate to the same place year after year, the Monarchs that migrate to Pacific Grove have never been here before. Each year it's a whole new generation that makes its way to this very place! While some researchers say the butterflies find their way because of the earth's magnetic field or the position of the sun, I believe it's just one of nature's miracles. The life span of a Monarch Butterfly after it emerges from its Chrysalis, is only 2-6 weeks.
The Monarch Grove Sanctuary is located at:
263 Grove Acre Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Open from sunrise to sunset. There is no charge, but you can make a donation.
Directions from the RV Park at Lagnua Seca Recreation Area:
Take a right onto Highway 68 as you leave the recreation area. Follow it as it merges onto Highway One.
Take the Highway 68 west exit marked Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove and take a right.
Follow Highway 68 which turns into Forest Ave.
Turn left on Lighthouse Ave.
Turn left onto Ridge Road.
You should be seeing signs as you approach the area. There will be a hotel on the corner. Follow the sign and drive past the hotel and park in the adult school parking lot on the left. You will see a white picket fence that marks the trail head. Very short walk to the butterflies.
While you are over there, also check out the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History located at 165 Forest Avenue at Central Avenue. 831-648-5716www.pgmuseum.org