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Monarch Butterflies

Danaus plexippus


Every autumn, thousands of beautiful monarchs flock to the delicately-balanced microclimate of the habitat at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. They cluster on the trees in thick bunches, looking like triangular dead brown leaves until, warmed by the morning sun, they spread their wings and drift among the branches.


The microclimate of the Monarch Grove Sanctuary is composed of Monterey pines and eucalyptus trees in a closed canopy, natural buffering windbreaks, a temperature that remains in the moderate zone all winter, close proximity to nectar sources and morning fog for moisture.


An epic display of an estimated 12,000 this year and is the first rise in population in nearly a decade. With butterflies flying everywhere the eye can see, it truly was a mystical and enchanting kingdom - like something out of a fantasy book.

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38 Comments (1–25)

Rosa Maria
Rosa Maria 9 years ago

Oh I'm so glad they had a rise last year. I hope they have one this year as well! What an incredible sight that must have been. Thanks for sharing!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 9 years ago

Thank you very very much Stanislav :)

Stanislav Greš
Stanislav Greš 9 years ago

very very nice series of ptohotos :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 10 years ago

Thank you very much Tom and Sarah! Sorry for not getting back to you earlier. Happy New Years!

SarahWhitt 10 years ago

INCREDIBLE!! :) I watched a documentary on them....truly amazing!!

Tom15 10 years ago

What a nice sighting!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 10 years ago

Well thanks guys :)

suzmonk 10 years ago

Good job, you!

Oh my god, beautiful shot :)

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 10 years ago

Thanks Tiz and Larry!

Tiz 10 years ago

Very very nice Joshua!

LarryGraziano 10 years ago

Cool Josh!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 10 years ago

Thank you very much sunnyjosef, Carol, and Chamalka! Seeing so many of them is truly mind-blowing :)

sunnyjosef 10 years ago

Wow!!! Great to see so much of them!!!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 10 years ago

WONDERFUL!!!! I love the series. I would love to see this in person. Great!!

Chamalka Dulmini
Chamalka Dulmini 10 years ago

wow amazing....

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 10 years ago

Wow! Thanks so much everyone! I'm glad you are all enjoying them :D

namitha 10 years ago


Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 10 years ago

just wow !!!! great spotting

surekha 10 years ago

Truly epic display!

Seema 10 years ago


manuelariasarias77 10 years ago


bayucca 10 years ago

Usually I am a little "dry", but this time there is only a huge "WOW" from me!!!!

Seema Swami
Seema Swami 10 years ago

Incredible ! Thanks for sharing !

alicelongmartin 10 years ago

Thank you for sharing such an amazing advent!

Josh Asel
Spotted by
Josh Asel

Pacific Grove, California, USA

Spotted on Dec 12, 2013
Submitted on Dec 16, 2013

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