Until now, I had never been to California. In fact, anytime the word "California" came up, the image that I had of the state was nothing more than a land of complete chaos and corruption - something I had no desire to be a part. I was invited by my two friends, Amy and Sally to join them on their already planned birding trip. I instantly (and probably imposingly) accepted the invitation and met them about mid-week into their vacation just two weeks ago. I arrived on a late flight so it wasn't until the next morning that I knew I had a made a mistake. Instantly, I knew that I had messed up - I should have come sooner! The mountains that surrounded the hotel said, "Welcome to California" in a way that I never expected. The state is absolutely beautiful!
Our first stop was a park in Pismo Beach, just north of Santa Barbara - a location known for its magnet attraction to Monarch butterflies. It was only a matter of seconds after our arrival before we knew were someplace special. Monarch's by the thousands were coming to life as the sun warmed the air. They seemed to be dripping from the trees, mostly Eucalyptus, from all directions. If you are a butterfly lover, you would feel as though you were in heaven. If you have yet to come to appreciate butterflies, I am certain that this amazing place would be your changing point. If not, well... we have some work to do!
Oh, and the birding at this park? Fantastic! But, I will talk about that more another day!
A low-light picture but I think you get the idea!