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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Hike on Saturday

This week the Sunday hike was on Saturday.
This week it was not super close to home.
A day trip away.

This weekend I was on the coast.
I went to visit a very dear old friend.
These visits always last for hours and hours.
They include a walks, meals, gifts, visits with other friends and former students.
They include laughter and sometimes a few tears.
We share news of the day, memories of our shared past, inspiring ideas and life worries.
We share stories.
We share ourselves.

I treasure these days.
I am extremely grateful for these visits and for this friend.
This is where we go to walk...
 
 The beautiful Pacific Ocean...can you smell the salt air?

Open Spaces...love that big blue, cloud holding sky!

 Can you see all of those Butterflies?
Click on photos to enlarge.

Even though it was mid-day, most of the butterflies were clustered together for warmth.
The population is very low this year, only about 1500, instead of thousands.


The only thing they eat is milkweed.  These are West Coast Monarchs.  They can travel up to 2000 miles in a season.  They will stay at this location until about February.  They come for the location, not the Eucalyptus trees.  I never knew this!  I also learned this year that the females will mate with many different males and can do so for up to 14 hours at a time!  Wow!
 Click to enlarge photos to learn more

 There was a great Volunteer Docent there teaching all of us so much.  She shared facts and both eggs and a caterpillar perched on the milkweed.  She made the learning fun and accessible.

I loved seeing this group of tween girls completely engaged.  They asked and tried to answer questions.  They listened attentively, as did their parents.  Two even wanted to hold the stripey caterpillar!

This is learning at its best!
 In the gentle hands of a child

 Looking up at the grove from a lower elevation.
 Bridge across a currently dry creek bed

The trail as we head back out


 Dirt trails crisscross the bluffs

 Light dances on the surrounding mountains

A charming neighborhood gate.


 Heading home, I try to capture the amazing moon.
This is what I get!


Thank you for coming along (again).  
You all may never truly know how very grateful I am for my online community.
You'll just have to take my word for it!
Whether or not you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you'll pause for a moment during the following week to feel the gratitude I feel & share with all of you...
and maybe share some of your own.
~Nancy

 Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2013

You can also see this grove of Monarchs here (includes informational links).

11 comments:

Marti said...

One of the gifts of the internet is to be taken places you don't know and places you do. This hike spoke so deeply to me, reminded me of taking our girls to Pacific Grove to see the Monarchs. Yesterday it snowed here in New Mexico, enough to leave deep footprints, enough to create a desert winter wonderland, my first snow here and it was a gift. Nancy, enjoy your festival of gratitude, a name given to Thanksgiving by a friend of mine.

Ms. said...

Boy oh boy THAT was nice. nothing like the oceans, skies and clouds...and butterflies in their Winter shelter, and Good storytelling! I'm grateful for you too.

Debbie said...

Fascinating post, I recently read Barbara Kingsolver's novel about monarch butterflies, the title escapes me at the moment. She is one of my favourite novelists, have you read her work.
Are they making comment moderation more difficult or is it just my eyes?

deemallon said...

a friend of mine is out west, chasing down monarchs! I really like the sky shots here... gives you a sense of all that space and open air.

Nancy said...

Marti~ Oh...I love Pacific Grove! My friend got married at Assilomar (sp?). I would love to see and/or spend more time myself in NM...it's so beautiful there. I've been gratituding all month! You enjoy the holiday too :)

Michelle~ Awww...thanks :)

Debbie~ I don't think I have read her work...yet! I will keep my eyes open for her at the library.

Dee~ Yes...that open space is something.

saskia said...

wow those photo's of the ocean and the big blue skies are breathtaking

Barbara Kingsolver's book is titled 'Flight Behaviour" I read it as well and thoroughly enjoyed it

sounds like you had a really good time with your friend, a gift to be thankful for;-)

thank you Nancy for sharing this with us

Nancy said...

Saskia~ I'm still thinking about that view :)
I'm very grateful for my friend and our time together.
Thank you for the book title, I'll have to check it out.

Peggy said...

So nice. I'm grateful for you and your lovely posts like this one. xx

Nancy said...

Peggy~ I wish we could walk it together for realsies!! :)

jenclair said...

Another beautiful post! Love the photos and that wonderful gate!

Nancy said...

Jenclair~ Isn't that gate great!!