Jan. 15, 2017: A Monarch butterfly poses at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove.
About 10,000 Monarchs currently are at the Pismo Beach location posing for hundreds of visitors and their cameras. I found the single fellow, above, right next to the highway.
The site averages 25,000 Monarchs, so numbers were actually down this year. The Monarchs form clusters on tree branches hanging with wings down. This provides shelter from rain and warmth. The cluster's weight also provides protection from strong winds dislodging the Monarchs.
The wintering Monarchs live six months. The migrating Monarchs each live about six weeks for a total of five generations each year.
There are about 200 known wintering sites for the Pacific Coast Monarch migration. These sites are active from late October through February.
The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove has onsite docents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.daily. Talks are given at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
I posted 18 images in this flickr album: 2017 Monarch Butterfly Grove
My thoughts on images past and present.