IT'S TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE... that a butterfly-obsessed Golden Stater might get "November to February" stuck in their head, like the lyrics to a much-loved song. After all, that's the general window for migrating Monarch butterflies to call upon their beloved eucalyptuses, cypresses, and pines, just some of the trees that make for some prime California-based clustering spots (and, of course, Monarchs possess a knack for clustering incredibly well). But while we may have the ol' "November to February" lyric on loop in our butterfly-filled brains, we also know that Monarchs and other wing-rocking critters do have a way of showing up at other times of the year.
STROLL BY... a set of colorful blooms in the middle of August, the kind that practically have a blinking neon sign on each petal that spells out "welcome butterflies" over and over, and you're going to see something flit by eventually. Finding such blooms, though, can be another matter, but look to Healdsburg, and the Russian River Rose Company, where a Butterfly Garden serves a flutter spot for all manner of beautiful wind-riders in August.
"MONARCHS, PIPEVINE & TIGER SWALLOWTAILS"... are some of the butterflies calling upon the destination's Butterfly Garden, a pretty plot that is in bloom. True, the Russian River Rose Company's big springtime to-dos happen, well, in the spring, but a number of day-out doings pop up come August and the fall. Dig irises, perennials, the rose water produced by the company, and spying a Monarch or five in the Butterfly Garden? It's happening near Healdsburg as summer begins its mellow farewell. Best make sure the garden is open before taking to the road.