Curt Seeden: Spread your wings and head to Monarch Butterfly Day

by in News

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a Saturday with the kids, enjoying the beauty of nature? No cellphones, no computer games and no “Avengers.”

Well, on May 25, you and your family can experience nature without having to chase grunion, take the RV to Joshua Tree or explore the Laguna tidepools. In fact, you don’t even have to leave Fountain Valley.

Why not round up the kids and head to Mile Square Regional Park (the county side off Euclid Street) to experience the annual Monarch Butterfly Day? The event, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., gives families an up-close look at Monarch butterflies and their habitat.

You may remember, this event was originally scheduled for Feb. 2 but yucky weather forced its postponement. The state Legislature in 2004 approved SCR 66, declaring Feb. 5 to be California Western Monarch Day.

I’ve done a little research about Monarch butterflies that might pique your interest enough to come out to Mile Square that day.

Did you know Monarch butterflies are the only insects known to migrate up to 2,500 miles to get out of cold weather? That’s second only to people who annually leave North Dakota.

Millions of Monarchs make the trip down to Mexico to roost for the winter. I’m not sure how they can afford it. I sure can’t vacation in Mexico.

And did you know Monarchs are poisonous? But don’t worry. They can’t hurt a human, but there are toxins in the milkweed they eat that can be fatal to frogs and mice. For that reason, frogs and mice don’t vacation in Mexico.

Do you know how to tell a male from a female Monarch butterfly? The male usually watches football on Sunday afternoons. No, not really. Male Monarchs do have a black spot on their hind wings, though.

At any rate, back to the May 25 event: Butterfly experts will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. The event is recommended for children ages 4-12; parents are invited to bring their cameras.

The event and parking are free. Food trucks will be on site. For more information, call the park office at 714-973-6600.