Photo: Monarch butterflies wintering in Santa Cruz

By on Sat, December 3, 2005

Darin Boville
Those aren't leaves -- they're butterflies! Click on the picture for a better look.

Montara photographer Darin Boville sent us a picture from the monarch butterflies sanctuary at Natural Bridges State Beach at the north end of Santa Cruz. The butterflies travel 2,500 miles from western Canada in one of nature’s great migrations.

According to what I read online they usually get 11-14,000 here during the migration. The docent said that this year they only have 6,000. He ascribed the difference to "things vary"—maybe he wasn’t a scientist!