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20 Feb, 2010

Monarch Butterfly Celebration Flies High in Orange County

Posted by: Beach Reporter In: california| events

By Chris MacDonald, HB Local News columnist, photographer, blogger

In Orange County where “monarch” is most often associated with Monarch Beach, a bright orange butterfly with wings that look like stained glass patterns, also is celebrated. Many volunteers are trying to help the winged creature thrive and find a home in Orange County where the butterfly once was abundant. The removal of its plant & food sources (such as milkweed) disrupted its migration to the area, but some are hoping to invite the Monarch back. In Pismo Beach, Monterey, and Santa Cruz, the Monarchs fair the best compared to other coastal towns. Each of those cities holds guided tours, special events and celebrations for the Monarch.

Huntington Beach could be on that list if efforts prove successful in attracting the butterflies back to the beach in OC.The Third Annual Shipley Nature Center Monarch Festival in Huntington’s Central Park West was held recently to educate the public about butterflies, and monarchs. A puppet show by Helen Cohen taught kids about butterflies, the public wandered the gardens of the nature center for tours, and some purchased books such as The Mystery of Blackbird Pond (by Diane Iverson), gave donations, or bought other gift shop items to help buy plants and materials to make the place more friendly for Monarchs.  My thanks to Juana Mueller for organizing the event, and to Norma Brandel Gibbs, who looks lovely as a butterfly (see photo).

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