ImageQuest - "Monarch Butterflies and the Central Coast of California"

Feb 4-6, 2005

Only a week after the '05 Cultural Mirages trip, Dave and I and a small cadre of photo enthusiasts converged on Cambria at the southern edge of Big Sur and explored the history and nature forms of this beautiful coastal stretch. I brought a telescope and had a dual purpose; to enjoy and contribute to the photo workshop, and also to attempt to get data on the occultation of a faint star by an asteroid as part of a wide effort to map the shape of this particular asteroid. Alas, clouds foiled the occultation attempt, but participants did get a nice view of Saturn. I stayed for just one day; the photos below were all taken on Saturday Feb 5.

The day began with a stop at Harmony, a tiny artist community on the old Hwy 1. Then south to Pismo Beach and the monarch butterfly sanctuary, where a warm day convinced the butterflies to get a jump on their Spring activities. Next, back north along the quiet backroad of See Canyon to enjoy a small private label winery, see dramatic green overlooks from the ridge summit, and wind our way on to Los Osos. Lunch and more shooting at Montana de Oro State Park and especially at Coralina Cove. Then to Morro Bay and the docks looking for sea otters, pelicans, and salty photo stories of the fishing fleet. Finally, back to Cambria and nearby Moonstone Beach for sunset.

An old door frame, rendered in black and white

Mustard bud

Door, in Harmony

February flower

Firebird, at Harmony, backlit by the morning sun

Dave, intruding upon a Monarch butterfly couple's first date

A monarch, love-struck with my signature yellow cap


Monarch tango

Birds, bees and butterflies

The tidepools at Coralina Cove are home to the most beautiful sea anenomes I've seen.

This was not an easy shot to make!

Raven feather

Little fellow's got hold of my finger

At Moonstone Beach...

...a borrowed idea from Ansel Adams