March Madness

If you think March Madness is confined to the college hard court, think again. 

As San Diego's weather warms this week, madness of a different sort should begin showing its colors -- literally: The colors you should start seeing are bright yellow and orange.

The warmer, sunnier days of March signal that it's time for the beautiful monarch butterfly  to wake from its winter nap and begin its deadly migration north and east.  On this side of the Rocky Mountains, adult monarchs spend the winter, clumped together in eucalyptus groves. On the other side of the Rockies, the monarchs migrate up from mainland Mexico. Over the next couple of weeks, our butterflies start waking up, pairing up and heading for the hills. 

The destination of this generation of monarch are the milkweed plants found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The milkweed is the only place a monarch will lay its eggs, and after it's done so, it flies off and dies. A few weeks later, this next generation of butterflies takes wing, flies north into Oregon or over into Nevada and Arizona. This generation, too, will lay eggs and die off, only to be replaced by the next generation, whose only goal is to return back to California where it will start the process all over again by spending the winter sound asleep in a eucalyptus tree .

Want to learn more about this fascinating fact of nature and to find out how you can help track the Monarch's migrating madness?

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