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.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Magic of Monarchs in Winter

                           Monarch Nectaring on Baccharis salicifolia,
                           Leo Carillo State Park, Photo by Kathy Vilim

I could scarcely believe my eyes! A large orange Monarch waited for me to go get my camera, flirting, attending to the puffy blossoms of Baccharis salicifolia (commonly called Mule Fat) and flashing his open wings at me.  I couldn't believe my luck :-)

I have been seeing Monarchs at this campground in Northern Malibu, near the coast for about six weeks now. I still wonder if they overwinter here or fly on to one of the better known overwintering spots to the north.  This one was out in mid-day, enjoying the warm sunshine, in no hurry to return to the shade of Eucalyptus trees.

It is so special to see the Monarchs.. the way they fly, their large wings make their movements slow, proud and graceful. It was the best Christmas present nature could have given me that day, as I shared the moment with a friend who had never seen a Monarch before!

I will give you an update soon on the numbers of West Coast Monarchs that Xerces.org will come up with after Dec.31st.  Also, you can read more at http://www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com/monarchs-on-christmas-eve.html

May Nature fill your Holidays with Wonder!

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Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns