The monarch butterfly season is winding down at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, and the naturalist staff there has scheduled a grand finale of programs before the insects depart to resume their migratory lifestyle.

From 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 9, naturalist Jenna Scimeca will lead walks from the Ardenwood greenhouse to the butterfly grove to see what the monarchs are doing. And since the monarch butterfly is the California state insect, naturalist Chris Garcia will honor it with a program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. She'll talk about the monarch life cycle using slide and puppet shows for all ages, help participants make butterfly wands, then lead a parade out to the grove.

The final farewell program is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 10. Chris will talk about where the butterflies are headed, and what we can do to help keep them returning to Ardenwood and the Bay Area. Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., just north of Highway 84. The winter entry fee is $3 for adults and seniors, $2 for ages 4 through 17 and free for ages 3 and younger. Parking is free, as are the butterfly programs.

walking the ridgeline: Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park will be the venue for a Wednesday Walk next week led by naturalist Kristina Parkison. It's a 4.7-miler with some hilly sections but panoramic views for the payoff. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Oak Tree Staging Area off Foothill Road north of Sunol. For information, call 510-544-3282.


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Email Ned MacKay at nedmackay@comcast.net.