Encinitas Butterly Vivarium – Monarch Gardens

This post was written by Valerie on August 24, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes

The Butterfly Vivarium in Encinitas Open to the public

I had read an article in the San Diego Union on August 11, 2012 about the “Butterfly Home in Encinitas” and caught my grand daughter and headed out on an adventure to locate this sanctuary for Monarch and other butterflies. I plugged in 450 Ocean View Avenue, Encinitas and off we went in search of this place and found it was just about four miles from home.

We had to stop and ask where it was as our North facing car and a few wrong turns finally found it with a nice lady’s help and it was on the west side of Ocean View Avenue.

We approached the building and a young girl said yes you are in the right place. It cost $11 for my granddaughter and my senior self and worth every penny. She waited for a few more people just minutes and took us to the auditorium showing us pictures of the over hundreds of butterflies and saw a short film with an oreo cookie the instructor past out. We learned a lot from that but even more after when she escorted us to see the caterpillars and let us pet him/her when two “horns” protruded and sprayed a mild unpleasant scent on our fingers. Keeps the predators away.

Then we were escorted outside and warned to watch were we walk as the butterflies are also all over the ground. It was magical. My granddaughter as it turns out had been there before and forgot about it but fell in love with it all over again. On a small table was cut up watermelon and lots of Monarchs and other varieties of butterflies feasting away. She held her finger down just under their legs and they climbed on her finger. She got one for me and placed it on my finger and there it stayed for the entire rest of the visit.

It was a very hot day but somehow the trees and the pond with fish in it and the incredible beauty of all this concentrated number of butterflies around us we felt cool. We sat on the benches and took it all in. My granddaughter and I talked so much and then we just rested and listened to the quiet. The butterflies prefer white clothing so if you want them to land on you wear white. The landed on us and we so enjoyed it and the small group of strangers that shared that time brought a bond to us all. We all were delighted with another child’s excitement when a Monarch landed on her and the cameras came out.

Life is short. The butterfly knows that. But even if a butterfly had never been to a new place they can find their way back to you if they were born on your property. So there is a lot of info on what to grow to attract them to breed. We even watched one lady butterfly lay eggs. The gentle man butterfly on my finger was identified by two small black circles on the lower wings.

Go and enjoy what we now call “the Butterfly Farm” open Thursdays through Saturdays, 11am to 3pm through November. For additional information go to http://www.monarchprogram.org/ or call 760-944-7113.

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