Dale and Debbie have agreed to share their on-the-road stories each month with our ABLifestyles camper family with their own column “Full Timing with Dale and Debbie”. We hope you will find their stories and journeys as interesting as we do. Many of us fantasize about becoming full timers and traveling the width and breadth of our wonderful country. If you can’t just yet, you can tag along with Dale and Debbie and live vicariously through their travels.
Monarch Butterfly Grove
Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is one of the largest in the nation. Thousands of Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, CA from late Oct. - Feb. each year seeking shelter from freezing northern winters. They cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees forming 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. And the weight of the cluster helps keep it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies. They become active when the sun hits their wings.
These Western Monarchs are a special variety. They have a life span of six months opposed to six weeks for common Monarchs. Even with an extended lifespan they will never return once they leave. Pismo Grove is one of only five sites in CA that has counts of over 10,000 annually.
Researchers have counted over 230,000 at this grove in a single season! What I can’t figure out is how they count them! During our visit they were constantly flying to and from the clusters. I wish I could include a video to show how active they were because it’s truly a splendid experience to watch them! Docents are provided to give presentations, answer questions and set up telescopes for an up-close look so it’s a real learning experience as well. I found it interesting that mating season reaches its peak near Valentine’s Day. ❤️ There’s much more to see in the beautiful area of Pismo Beach. Check it out…you may want to add it to your bucket list! As you view the pictures keep in mind we could only get a couple of clusters in one picture, but they were everywhere!! -Dale & Debbie