Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Weather means more when you have a garden. There's nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans."
~Marcelene Cox

The link below provides a great map of Monarch butterfly overwintering sites along the west coast. Laguna Beach boasts three sites listed if one includes Crystal Cove, although two of them show zero recent counts. One site listed is Smithcliffs, which ceased to exist when the bluffs there were converted into a residential area. Last count at Crystal Cove was taken in 1993. No one has been monitoring it since then.

Irvine Bowl shows 5 counted in 2008. From my previous casual counts at the Bowl for a period of a decade, + or - a year or three,  the average numbers were 5 to 8 (+ or -) at any given time. If I had to guess, there were probably around a dozen individuals that overwintered in the Bowl on any given year I counted. One can sign up online to be a citizen scientist to monitor sites listed on the map. Contact information is available online. The Irvine Bowl would be an easily accessible site for anyone living in LB interested in such an endeavor.

Laguna Beach, with its diverse array of micro climates, is a prime candidate for potential overwintering site analysis and possible incorporation of overwintering sites within the City through judicious planting, both public and private. How hard it would be to research and implement such a scheme would of course, need research. A concerted effort between interested citizens and an enthusiastic municipality would certainly go a long way in realizing such an endeavor.


Interesting and informative O.C. Register article on the Western race of Monarch butterflies, with many people pitching in to help them by planting way stations in gardens:

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