To see slightly more diminutive returning migrants, head south on Sunday, October 12, for Welcome Back Monarchs Day at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. By mid-October, the butterflies have begun to arrive from as far away as 2,000 miles, to winter at the beach’s National Butterfly Reserve. There, as many as 150,000 monarchs find protection from the ocean wind in groves of eucalyptus trees, clustering together for warmth on cold days. The event kicks off several months of tours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays through mid-February). Call (831)423-4609 for more details.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ October-December 2003