Friday, November 14, 2008

Eucalyptus Trees and Butterflies

Pacific Grove's monarch butterflies love to cluster in eucalyptus trees and Monterey pines (scientists call this "overwintering"). But why are those non-native eucalyptus trees there? Part of the answer can be found in the 19th century, when malaria was a scourge in California. Some doctors believed, incorrectly, that the disease was caused by "bad air" and felt the pungent oil of eucalyptus would clean the air. Thousands of the trees were planted here and around the state.
(Photo: Monarch Butterflies cling to eucalyptus trees in the sanctuary in Pacific Grove, CA. Courtesy of Inetours.)

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