Hunting for Danaus plexippus – The Monarch butterfly

We’ve been making our way down the California coast since we left the Carson City NV area. We stopped for Wine Tasting in Lodi then headed for the coast.  When I get to the Central California area during winter months, I make a point of looking for the overwintering Monarch butterflies.

The Monarch is the king of the North American butterflies.  They are a common site we all see them here and there and they have even made it to Hawaii.  From Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara is a good area to try to photograph them.  Monarchs west of the Rockies migrate mainly to their favorite eucalyptus groves each year from October thru February along the California coast. Those monarchs East of the Rockies overwinter in Mexico.

This trip we stayed in Oceano, California where we spent two weeks in upper 70 degree weather.  Perfect temperatures for us and the Butterflies.  The butterfly grove is in the Pismo Beach area.


butterfly colors


There is a very nice grove of these near Goleta, California (Santa Barbara area)   Unfortunately we could not visit that grove this trip due the the Wildfires. We wanted to avoid the smoke in that area.  In a blog post December 2014, I posted some information and photos.





It’s amazing to think that Monarchs typically live a mere 2 – 6 weeks.  That is except for the last generation of the year which can live up to 8 months.











Categories: Butterfly migration, California, Our Travels | Leave a comment