Feb. 18th, 2013

tanarill: (Default)
There is, quite near UC Santa Barbara, a monarch butterfly preserve. That is to say, it is not a rather disgusting spread made out of insects, but instead a hunk of land which has been set aside for the butterflies. This is because it is a hibernation grove, to which the butterflies will annually return for the winter.

The amazing thing being, of course, that butterflies only live a few months at best; so actually the returning butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the ones that left. And yet, they somehow find their way back to the same grove, each year!

So today, to celebrate dead presidents (?) I went to go see the butterflies. I took with me Nathan the Mathematician, because he'd also never been. At first, we went the wrong way; the paths are not clearly marked with signs that say "this way to the butterflies ->" so instead we ended up on the coastal trail, which is pleasant in its own right but was not the goal. After a while, though, we did find out way to the butterfly grove, which looked . . . disappointingly empty.


After standing still and looking up for a moment, it became apparent that there were butterflies. They were quite high up, and apparently quite few now in comparison to the profusion that live there during the season (it is the tail end of the migrating-away part of the year), but there were indeed butterflied. Most were hanging off each other in these formations that look rather a lot like leaves and probably do confuse most predators. Some were flying around, in the breezy blown-about way of butterflies.

So I changed my virtual tokonoma to celebrate. Next year, I shall be sure to go during the time when more are there. Still, mission accomplished :D

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