Monarch butterflies, Santa Cruz, California
I’m delighted that another one of my photos has made it into the pages of BBC Wildlife magazine (May 2018)
In February this year we sought out overwintering monarch butterflies in Santa Cruz, California. After a bit of a search, we found hundreds of them clinging to trees on Lighthouse Field State beach, waiting for temperature to reach 55f when they’re able to fly and eventually set off on their marathon journey towards the Rocky Mountains.
The Monarchs lay their eggs on route and then die, leaving the new butterflies to continue the journey. Those that return to Santa Cruz for winter are the great, great grandchildren of the ones that set off. It’s simply amazing that a butterfly can complete a journey like that and that the new ones know exactly where to return.
The editor has called the image ‘A feast for the eyes’, a nice description of such a wonderful sight.