Monday, February 2, 2015

Monarch Manor

Sometimes when things happen that are a drag, it winds up being even better than what you set out for. Like on Saturday, when I was running late to meet my friend for lunch, and found that all the bikes were jacked up in different ways, so I was going to be even later on foot. But by being on foot, I explored the canals and walk streets that I don't normally take on wheels. I decided to take Pacific over to check out a vacation rental my friends have booked for Spring Break, and that's when I stumbled across Monarch Manor.

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, 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.

This community project example was to help the butterflies, but it could be anything. Little Free Libraries, a beautiful new mural, a community garden, a street dance, movies in a yard, beach clean-ups, picnics, outdoor concerts ... what can your neighborhood get together and do? Every time you sit around the yard shooting the breeze ... what fun thing can you create together to make this place even cooler? I'll look forward to discovering it - and bragging about you guys - soon.

*And yes, I was even later for lunch, but it was completely worth it.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder where one finds a lot of milkweed -- we used to pull it because it was a weed who knew?. I'm going to try and find a lot of plants to pout in our yard to encourage the monarch caterpillars! Thanks CJ, for another great idea!!