One of the most amazing discoveries I can remember from my many visits to California is the over-winter Monarch butterfly colonies that dot the central Californian coast. These amazing creatures migrate thousands of miles to spend the winter huddling together for warmth in huge clusters. They – or their children – migrate to the same places every year. As a result, there are places that reliably have vast numbers of the butterflies clustered in the trees for months on end. As the weather warms, they return to active life and start to spread out onto the surrounding trees, as you see in this photo.
Every year I’ve been in the area at the right time I’ve gone to see them – my favourite spot is in Santa Cruz. If you want to know how to find them, send me an e-mail and I’ll try to help. They’ve naturally all flown now – they will be back in the late autumn.