Pismo Grove Monarchs 2009 ~ B is for Butterfly

Welcome to a new round of ABC Wednesday hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt and Friends. Today we are on the letter B and my post is all about the Monarch Butterflies that overwinter at Pismo Beach, California.

Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach. The grove is easily accessible. It is located on State Highway 1 at the south boundary of the city limits of Pismo Beach.


The Pismo Beach colony is one of the largest in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the last five years.


The butterflies form dense clusters with each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it to form a shingle effect. This provides shelter from the rain and warmth for the group. The weight of the cluster help keeps it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies.


Dear and I visited the Grove on a weekend getaway we had to Pismo Beach on January 18th and 19th. It really was wonderful to see this sight. When the sun warmed up the cluster of butterflies they started flying around and landing all around the grove. The grove of Eucalyptus trees was not very large. I had use the zoom on my camera to be able to get any close-ups of the butterflies.

Seeing one of these Monarch overwintering groves has been a desire of mine for a while now and I was so thrilled we could get away just an hour and a half up the coast of California from where we live to see these. This happened to be a record-breaking year for the Monarchs here with over 26,000 arriving. So the question that comes to my mind is how do they count them???


The Monarchs that visit Pismo Beach are a special variety. They have a life span of six months as opposed to that of common Monarchs who live only six weeks. This can be attributed to a unique fat storing system. However, even with an extended life span, those butterflies that leave in March will never return.


Scientists do not know why the Monarchs consistently return to some wintering sites. In North America, those sites range from the Central and Southern California Coast to Mexico. Some scientists speculate that the insects are equipped with genetic homing systems that lead them from their summer sites in the Sierras, Florida, Canada and the Great Lakes Region in North America back to their winter locations.


On the Central Coast, Monarchs winter in Pismo Beach, Pacific Grove and Morro Bay. The Natural History Museum In Morro Bay is an excellent resource for information about Monarchs.

ht: Monarch Butterfly.Org.

For more ABC’s on the letter B visit the official ABC Wednesday Blog.

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage unless I pay them a lot of money. I’m slowly cleaning up many posts from this time period and deleting their ugly grey and black boxes with a ransom request. Such a time consuming bother.

Friday’s Fave Five! It’s all about Pismo…


All my favorites this week are from Dear and my getaway to Pismo Beach from Sunday to Monday. Very short time filled with lots of wonderful sights, sounds, and food!

1. We got to see the Monarch Butterfly Grove with thousands of butterflies in residence. What an exciting experience it was. It’s been a goal of mine to visit one of these groves in California. I’m so glad we did. I’ll be posting all about them on Tuesday.

2. Beautiful beaches and beach walks and pier walks were another favorite.

3. We took a side trip to Arroyo Grande and did some fun antique shopping. Boy we only went to two antique shops but they were big and filled from corner to corner with so much interesting stuff. We came away with just one purchase. Such self control!

4. Food glorious food! I love food. I love to find unique spots with wonderful food. I like to fellowship over food. I like to cook good food. So there’s the insight into why I’m always trying to take off some extra pounds!! We ate well those 2 days! Wait, was I just talking about self control, “pride goeth before the fall”!?? The clam chowder pictured was oh so chunky and rich and good! Pismo Beach is known for their clams. We ate a wonderful meal with an ocean view. I had lamb shank with risotto, brussel sprouts, and a double chocolate martini for dessert. Dear had a Rib-eye steak, salad, and potatoes. Needless to say, I did not step on the scale when we got back!

5. The last of my favorites was having our own personal hot tub on the private deck where we sat and enjoyed watching the star filled sky while listening to the waves crashing on shore! Glorious! We even started singing “In the stars His handiwork I see, on the wind He speaks with majesty, though He ruleth over land and sea, what is that to me…”  Are any of you old enough to remember that one??

I have a post with lots of photos from the Pismo Beach area here.

To see more Favorites or to join in the fun visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story!

California Central Coast Getaway!

After viewing all the photos I took on Dear and my getaway last Sunday and Monday, it’s hard to believe we saw so much in such a short time! This is your only warning…I’m posting a lot of photos here! I will be sharing my photos from the Butterfly Grove next Tuesday.


After we spent some time at the Butterfly Grove we zipped over to the sleepy little town of Arroyo Grande which is inland from Pismo Beach. We wanted to do a little antiquing. Since it was Sunday some shops were closed but we got an eye full in two filled to the brim antique stores. There’s a suspension bridge over the river that was fun to cross. Brought out the kid in us!


These guys were making quite a racket and decided they needed to peck at our tennies! The red head decided to peck at Dear’s leg, too.


Pismo Beach is known for their clams and the clam symbol is used freely all over town. It was one of our goals to have a bowl of clam chowder at Splash Cafe before we left town! When we saw the line at Splash on Sunday we settled for good barbecue at Mo’s instead and hoped to get into Splash on Monday! Mo does not do Clam Chowda!

 The Pismo Clam

The Pismo Clam is one of the largest types of clams found along the California Coast. The clams can grow up to seven inches, if not interfered with by hungry clammers and sea otters. Legal size is 4 1/2 inches in diameter; and the proper place to clam is south of Grand Avenue (south of Pismo Beach).  Clams take approximately five years to reach legal size; growing about 3/4 of an inch each year. As clams approach ten years of age, they seldom grow more than 1/8 of an inch per year. The largest living Pismo Clam on record is 7 3/8 inches, however the clam shell on display in the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce is 8 inches in diameter.


See the line going out the door and around the corner? No worries…on Monday we headed back to Splash and had a bowl of very good chowder for brunch before the crowds arrived!


Our room would not be ready for us till 3:30 so we headed up the coast a bit to Shell beach and boy what a treat it was!


Beauty overload at it’s best!




We headed back to Pismo to check in but before we did we took a walk on the pier…


These two pelicans made my day while they posed for me and my camera! Actually they were hoping to steal the fish that a fisherman had just caught from the pier. It was funny to watch! We checked in, had a wonderful Swedish massage, (after standing and walking all day it felt so good) and then we had a great meal at the hotel restaurant with views of the beach.


On Monday morning after our picnic breakfast that was delivered to our room we headed north to Avila beach for an early morning walk.


Besides walking out on the pier, we found this biking/walking trail along the river and golf course that we explored.



We really enjoyed our getaway and would highly recommend this part of the California coast to anyone. If you are wine lovers there are also several wineries that do tastings in this area.

ht: photo of Pismo Clam R.Perry/UCLA Globe

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage unless I pay them a lot of money. I’m slowly cleaning up many posts from this time period and deleting their ugly grey and black boxes with a ransom request. Such a time consuming bother.

Sky Watch ~ Pismo Beach & Camarillo


Pismo Beach is on the Central Coast of California. Dear and I had an overnight escape here this last Sunday night. The skies were clear and bright.


This photo I took at dawn on Monday in Pismo Beach reminds me more of a painting than a photograph.


Dawn in Camarillo one morning this week.


Late yesterday afternoon on our walk in the neighborhood. Rain has been promised in the morning hours.


As I’m posting these on Thursday morning the predicted rain is falling steadily and freshening things up in Southern California.

For more SkyWatch photos from around the world visit the official SkyWatch blog.

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage unless I pay them a lot of money. I’m slowly cleaning up many posts from this time period and deleting their ugly grey and black boxes with a ransom request. Such a time consuming bother.

An Overnight Getaway!

Dear and my escape to Pismo Beach Sunday and Monday was wonderful. It’s going to take me a few days to get my act together and figure out what day of the week it is, though. Monday holidays always throw me off. I have a lot to share from this part of California and will be doing so over the next week or so. Here are some photos of where we stayed. This first photo is of the Sea Venture Resort.


Our room was nice with views of the beach and a private hot tub on the deck. We both had a massage in the late afternoon and then enjoyed dinner at the hotel restaurant.


The view from the restaurant was beautiful and we could hear the waves crashing. We ate well and really enjoyed the whole weekend.


It was amazing to sit in the hot tub and look up at the sky full of stars. What wonderful God we have that created such beauty for us to enjoy.

I hope to get around and see what’s been happening while I was gone. Hope your week is going well…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.