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Where the monarchs hang out.

IT'S A GOOD YEAR for monarchs, the orange-and-black butterflies that winter in California. In an East Bay park, a new wintering spot has been discovered, and Pacific Grove passed a bond issue to save another site.

These miraculous migrants come from all over the states west of the Rockies--traveling as far as 2,000 miles and at speeds up to 10 mph--to winter at sites from Fremont to Pismo Beach. October to March, they hang in dense clusters on Monterey pine and eucalyptus branches.

Bring binoculars; on a sunny day, you may see clouds of them flutter off branches, seeking warmth. They have trouble flying at temperatures below 55 [degrees], so tread lightly; the forest floor may be littered with fallen monarchs.


Fremont. At the East Bay's Ardenwood Regional Preserve, naturalists have found about 10,000 monarchs in a grove of eucalyptus trees.

Get a close look on Butterfly Focus Days, November 2, 9, 16, and 23. The 45-minute guided walks include a slide show. Tours begin at 11:30, 1:30, and 2:30; call (510) 796-0199 for reservations.

Through November 10, the park is open 10 to 4 Thursdays through Sundays; admission is $5, $2.50 ages 4 through 17. In winter it's open only on tour dates; free. From I-880, take the Decoto Road/Dumbarton Bridge exit west, then exit onto Ardenwood Boulevard. Turn right on Ardenwood; go one block.

Pacific Grove. Voters passed a $1.2-million bond to save a major grove next to the Butterfly Grove Inn, at Lighthouse Avenue and Ridge Road.

Other sites. In Santa Cruz, Natural Bridges State Beach (west end of W. Cliff Drive) gets up to 100,000 monarchs; 8 to dusk, $6 parking. Pismo State Beach, near San Luis Obispo (off State 1, 1/2 mile north of Grand Avenue in Grover City) gets more than 100,000; dawn to dusk, free.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:California butterfly habitats
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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