Sunday, January 16, 2011

Butterfly Adventure

Yesterday we made the trek up to Santa Barbara to see a natural habitat for Monarch butterflies, Ellwood Butterfly Preserve. I expected it would be a zoo-like enclosure with a hundred or so butterflies. I thought we'd pay to park and pay to view. Instead, we missed our turn for a little side street to the preserve. Turns out, it's hidden away in a little neighborhood community harbored near beach cliffs.

I could never have imagined we would hike gorgeous, lush, green trails; view tens of thousands of butterflies swarming through huge eucalyptus; or eat lunch on a cliff overlooking the beach.

It was beautiful.

The girls explored the landscape. They gathered sticks, Avery found a bird's nest, and Norah got to touch two butterflies perched on a low branch. A park volunteer even placed a butterfly right on Norah's nose.

Avery's birds' nest.
Norah's butterfly encounters.

Lucas and Avery hiking back from our picnic on the cliffs.

Avery pretending to be a butterfly. See her "wings" behind her back.

It was 85 degrees in late January. People swam in the ocean and picnicked at the park. Not a bad day.

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