Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deciding When to Go

                      Monarch perched on Monterey Pine Tree, as if 
                         ’Deciding When to go’, photo by Kathy Vilim

Here I am, the Gypsy Gardener on the Central Coast of California.  I am in the town of Pacific Grove, which calls itself "Butterfly Town".  For good reason: It is one of the overwintering sites of the West Coast Monarchs.  Here in this photo a Monarch is perched on the end of a Monterey Pine branch. Most of Monarchs here have left, following that special sense that only they have: of knowing where to go, and when to go. Off in search of Milkweed, they fly inland from the Coastal overwintering sites.

  Pacific Grove's Monarch Sanctuary, Photo by Kathy Vilim

I feel much like the Monarch. Like him, I stand perched deciding where I should go next.  I have been to three overwintering spots since October, 2012: Ellwood Butterfly Preserve near Santa Barbara, Pismo's Monarch Grove, and Pacific Grove. I have enjoyed watching them as they spent their winter months resting, taking refuge in the safety of stands of tall Eucalyptus & Pines on the Coast. Now that they are on their way to Spring & Summer locations all over the West, I wonder if I shouldn't be on the move, too.

You can see more on my visit to Butterfly Town here.

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Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns