Monarch Manor is a way station for Monarch butterflies, kind of like a HoJo's rest stop for butterflies as they travel along their migratory routes. A group called "Voice Of The Canals" created this sanctuary as part of www.monarchwatch.org, and it's been there since 2008. I had no idea!
As our eco-system is more fragile all the time, it's important to have awareness and efforts made to help keep everything functioning and beautiful. Butterflies, like bees, are a crucial part of our natural world, so we need to give them all a helping hand like this. Monarch migration season is November through February, so we're winding down for this year, but as I walked down the wooden steps into the habitat, I was delighted to see a dancing pair of monarchs, flitting happily all over, almost too fast to capture, but I did at the top of the frame below.
Monarch caterpillars feed only on milkweed, so that is what is being served here off Pacific Ave. It was so lovely to discover this butterfly oasis right smack in the middle of the weekend hoopla of life at the beach in Venice. Standing in the middle of all the foliage and butterflies, one could be anywhere. Anywhere super gorgeous and eco-friendly, that is.
I love it when people see a need or a wish, come together with their various resources, and make things happen. I imagine this came about through someone reading an article about vanishing butterflies, thinking they could help, talking to their neighbors and friends, doing a little fundraising, getting together on a weekend day like this one to plant and dig, and then it's done and butterflies have a little Venice respite on their long trek back and forth to Mexico.
*And yes, I was even later for lunch, but it was completely worth it.