The Roving Rowes


Monarch Grove Sanctuary

Pacific Grove, CA

The city of Pacific Grove, CA, calls itself "Butterfly Town, U.S.A." because every year thousands upon thousands of Monarch butterflies migrate to Pacific Grove and winter in two locations in the town from approximately mid-October until about mid-February. Of the two (Washington Park and the Monarch Grove Sanctuary), we chose to try the latter. Every year since 1939, the second Saturday in October breaks into celebration with the Butterfly Parade. Also in 1939 the city levied a $500 fine for "molesting a butterfly in any way" and recently increased that fine to $1,000.



Entrance sign (small)

The location of the sanctuary is well marked with signs around town. This one pointed us to the entrance.

Butterflies in tree (small)

As we approached the sanctuary we noticed a number of butterflies in a tree along the walkway leading to the park. If you look closely, you'll see them particularly around the top of the tree.

Ro Vaccaro (small)

Ro Vaccaro, a butterfly docent who volunteers in the sanctuary to enlighten and educate visitors coming to view and learn about the butterflies, met us the moment we arrived in the main butterfly area.

Butterfly legs (small)

Ro reminded us that butterflies are insects and therefore have six legs. She then showed us a butterfly and pointed out that only four of them are easily noticed. The other two are found next to its proboscus (mouth) and function to shove food into it. Carefully inspect the picture to see these two tiny legs.

Male butterfly (small)

How can one tell whether a butterfly is male or female? Ro explained that the male butterflies have small "bubbles" near the bottom of their wings close to their body which store their "mating materials". You can see that this one is male.

Female butterfly (small)

This butterfly is of the female persuasion. Notice that those two "bubbles" are missing.

Butterfly cluster (small)

Butterflies sleep in clusters in the trees until the temperature rises to a comfortable level, then they spread out their wings and fly.

Butterflies in tree (small)

One of the trees in the park sported quite a few Monarchs basking in the sun.

Return to Roving the Monterey Bay Area page.

Back to the Roving Rowes main page.