Who are these Critters you speak of?

Monday, October 25, 2010

St. Marks Wildlife Preserve - Monarch Butterfly Festival

Rian, the Critters, and I headed down to St. Marks this Saturday to attend the annual Monarch Butterfly Festival. Apparently Monarch Butterflies from the Northern US and Canada travel thousands of mile to Mexico to hibernate for the winter. St. Marks is one of their stops on the way down. I had never heard of this festival, and you know we love us some festivals, until a coworker mentioned it. It was a pretty cool little set up.

We parked and unloaded the Critters and the new Choo Choo Wagon (Merry Christmas from Grandpa Dave) and were off to the St. Marks lighthouse, which was the starting point. Rian and Hadley headed over to the butterfly tagging area and Hadley got to "hold" (I use that term loosely) a butterfly while they tagged it to monitor its migration. The butterfly was then released to continue on its merry way. After that we headed over to the FAMU entomology tent, not a good idea - in the slightest. We were looking at the butterfly specimens in the cases when this dude decided to bring out the mother of all roaches, yes I said a roach.

(Click here if you want to see a picture of one similar. No I didn't take a picture.)


This thing was what nightmares a made of. I swear to God this thing could have eaten CarCar. We quickly beelined it to the walking trail to find some happy thoughts and cute butterflies, maybe a unicorn if we were lucky.

It was pretty cool to see the butterflies just hanging out on the bushes. The Critters loved seeing all of them flying around. I will also add that you could not have asked for a more beautiful day, high seventies with a nice gulf breeze. We putzed around the trail for a little bit and then headed back to the butterfly tagging area, CarCar said that she wanted a turn. (Note: We were careful to avoid the tent of nightmares and it's devil roach.) CarCar got to have a butterfly walk on her hand and then she watched it fly off. To my surprise CarCar uttered these words of encouragement to her new butterfly friend, "Adios mi amigo mariposa divertirse en Mexico, pero ten cuidado con los carteles." Did you know that CarCar could speak Spanish, I sure didn't. I had to break out my iPhone translator. She apparently said, "Good bye, my butterfly friend, have fun in Mexico, but watch out for the Cartels."

CarCar telling her new friend (the butterfly) goodbye.

After that little exchange we were off to grab some lunch. We hit the hot dog stand at the visitors center (this was a treat for the Critters as they do not often get hot dogs). We headed to the visitors center quickly so Brother could see the people tagging station. He thought is was some kind of futuristic human tagging program. He got tagged and said that the government will know where he is at all times, I told him not to worry too much I think they just put a sticker on you. He is still convinced that they are tracking him, oh well. We were definitely bumping up against nap time after that, so we loaded up the troops and headed home. We will definitely be heading back next year.

Here are a few pics from the day:

The Critters in their new "Choo Choo Wagon."

Self explanatory.

Some kind of butterfly that is not a Monarch.

Some Monarchs hanging out.

Another Monarch.

It definitely is a beautiful wildlife preserve.

The Critters did one heck of a job with parallel parking.



  1. Ummmm the choo choo wagon is probably one of the coolest toys I have EVER seen!!! So nice that everyone gets a private car.

  2. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

    The text in your content seem to be running off
    the screen in Firefox.
    I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I'd
    post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope
    you get the issue solved soon.


    Look at my homepage :: chicago bulls

  3. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you're using? I'm going to start my own blog soon
    but I'm having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely
    unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but
    I had to ask!

    Here is my weblog :: arizona asbestos attorney