Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Butterfly Jungle is now open at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park.
WING TIME: When the words "butterflies" and "California" enter one's mind, one often thinks first of Pacific Grove, and its famous wintertime Monarchs. (Okay, "one" here is us, but we have to guess you've got a soft spot for the famous migrating Monarchs, too.) But the Monarch butterflies must eventually wrap up their Monterey-close holiday and head out for some more quality, been-doing-it-forever migrating. It's a bittersweet time for the butterfly buff, but lovers of colorful insectiana can take heart, for April follows March, and April is about the time various winged pavilions start to open around the state.
INSECT INFO: The two major LA and San Diego butterfly pavilions are now open for summer 2011. The Natural History Museum's Butterfly Pavilion debuted on Sunday, April 10, and Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park threw open its doors (not really literally, of course, or else the residents might flap away), on Saturday, April 9. But while the Butterfly Pavilion will be open through Labor Day, note that San Diego's butterfly palace runs through May 8. So if you want to soak in those 40+ species (with the best names -- hello, Cattlehearts!), best make your Safari Park plans soon.