Friday, 23 December 2016

Monarch butterfly colony and Cachuma Lake, California

Monarch butterlfy 
It may have been a year since we went to California, and I'm midway through writing up our more recent holiday to Japan, but I'm determined to still finish blogging our last holiday too.

When Becks realised there was a monarch butterfly colony not too far from where we were staying in Solvang it became a must visit for us. The butterflies are supposed to have a peak of activity mid morning when the sun penetrates through the trees and warms the butterflies up.

When we got to the butterfly glade in Goleta it was beautifully peaceful and we had it to ourselves. The butterflies weren't being particularly active, still huddled together on branches of the trees, but we did get to see a number of the butterflies flying.

Towards the end of our time in the glade a group of four middle aged Americans arrived, completely ignored the signs asking you to be quite so as not to disturb the butterflies and were making a total racket. Not too long after they arrived we left them to it and headed back to the car.
Lunch at Brophy Bros in Santa Barbara
We weren't too far from Santa Barbara so decided to head back there for lunch after a successful visit to the pier a couple of days before hand. Rather than a second visit to the pier we headed to the marina to check out Brophy Bros, I'm not quite sure of the full story, but it's a restaurant where my aunt and uncle know the owner from their regular trips to California twenty years ago.

We had a quick lunch sitting on the balcony over looking the sea. I'd love to tell you what it was like, but I honestly can't remember.
Cachuma Lake
On our way back to Solvang we stopped at Cachuma Lake just as the sun started to set. We pulled in at a large camping area, that was completely deserted in winter, but judging by all the facilities in place must be very popular in summer.

We had a pleasant stroll round the campsite looking at different views of the lake in the glorious golden light. We'd read about California's drought and how many days it had been since it had last rained, but seeing how low the lake was really brought home how bad the drought is.

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