Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monarch Butterflies and Redwood Trees

Mom loves butterflies and she was really excited to visit Natural Bridges State Park because Monarch Butterflies migrate there from October to February each year.  The park is said to have the largest population in this area. Estimates show there are about 450,000.  That's a lot!  Unfortunately, Sunday was a cool and cloudy day and butterflies don't like that type of weather.

Notice the sign says not even little dogs are allowed. Mom thought that was funny.

See the clumps that look like dead leaves?  Those are butterflies.  Mom expected to see closer clumps.

Here is a lone butterfly.

Those are butterflies.  The folks saw a lot flying around, but Mom couldn't get decent pictures of them.
It was a disappointing visit, but Mom did learn some things.  The life span of the adult Monarch varies, depending on the season in which it emerged from the pupa and whether or not it belongs to a migratory group of Monarchs. Adults that emerged in early summer have the shortest life spans - about two to five weeks. Those that emerged in late summer survive over the winter months. The migratory Monarchs, which emerge from the pupa in late summer and then migrate south, live a much longer life, about 8-9 months.   Mom thought they only lived a few weeks.

The folks hoped to attend a tour but it started to rain, so they figured there was no point since the butterflies would remained huddled up.

While they were at the park, they learned that the $10 entrance fee they paid allowed them to visit as many state parks as they wanted in the same day.  They decided to drive to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park which was only about 10 miles away.

They watched a video about the park and then headed out to explore.  They really enjoyed seeing the large trees, but found the photos do not really show you the size.


This tree was cut down in 1934.  It was 2,200 years old!





You can see how big it is with Dad in the photo.









The Fremont Tree has a record of 81 people being inside the base of it.  There is a video on YouTube showing it. It was too dark inside to get a good picture of the inside though. The outside didn't look different than any of the other trees.  In 1846, John C. Fremont and legendary scout, Kit Carson camped in the tree's fire-hollowed base.
Banana Slug
The folks walked a .8 mile loop and then left the park due to rain.  Mom said that I would have loved that park.  Dad said I might have stressed out trying to mark all those trees.  BOL!

Joey,
The Greyhound Who Wants To Visit The Fremont Tree
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