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The success of our grand opening was, in part, thanks to Karen's quick action in getting us a write-up in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Her work and support made a difference.
— Rebecca Clinger, owner, The Crafter's Studio

"Thank you! You were awesome. Your recent Facebook seminar helped me formulate a vision for how to position my business within the social media space. And you left the crowd feeling good, which is a great skill to have."
Frank Horath
Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Clientfirst Financial

"Thank you, Karen, for the great telephone class on LinkedIn. I have joined at least five new groups, have expanded my connections, and re-established the LinkedIn toolbar in my Outlook, all thanks to your audio session. Good stuff I was able to put into practice immediately!"
Kennerly Clay
Executive Recruiter/Trainer and Business Development Director

"You have given me the basics and the confidence to charge forward and embrace Twitter and LinkedIn."
Sue Brooks, Santa Cruz, CA

"You are so informed and vibrant. Great energy! Thanks again for the Twitter lesson. Your handouts are a good way to get started, so no excuses for me."
Sloane Devoto
Realtor, Coldwell Banker

“Thank you again. Your social media talk was a real hit! Well done and much appreciated.”
Bill Tysseling
Executive Director, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce

"There was a considerable amount of goodwill surrounding your presentation...You have a lot of positive energy and great ideas."
Bonnie Lipscomb
Director of Economic Development and Redevelopment for the City of Santa Cruz, CA

"Good presentation this morning at the Santa Cruz Chamber’s Caffeinated! It deserves at least a half-day workshop. I learned at least 20 new things this morning alone!"
Carol Skolnick
Clear Life Solutions

"It was a great talk, thanks! It was helpful to watch you manage your account on the big screen."
Traci Tompkins
ABC Sedans & Limousines

"Your talk was great. You had a tough job, especially because the people there ranged from newbies to experts."
Tom Honig
Armanasco Public Relations

"Congratulations! You brought us back up to a 5-star rating again for our marketing meet-up. And there were zero no-shows. I would like to get you on the schedule again."
Maggie Barr
Maggie Barr & Associates

“Fabulous class! I never know how much I don't know until I start to learn what I don't know. Thanks again for the great class!”
Carmen Richardson Rutlen

“You have a clear, easy-going style of teaching that I found very effective. What a great talent you have!”
Carol Siegel
Employment Manager, Santa Cruz Seaside Company

“I attended Karen’s workshop on social media and would attend again whatever she presents. It was well worthwhile. She knows her subject and communicated it well.”
Donna Rankin Love

“Thanks for the great class. I really got a lot out of it, and feel others did too. In fact, I went onto LinkedIn and began to set up my account!”
Paula Mahoney
Writer and Producer

“Your class last Saturday was amazingly helpful! In addition to having a lovely persona, you have so much useful information to impart. I am full of ideas as to how to proceed regarding how the get the word out about my present novel when the time comes.
Janice Wittenberg

“Being a complete novice about the business of social media, I was anxious to take her class recently at Capitola Book Cafe. Passion to share what she knows would describe her; I highly recommend her classes!”
Jane Parks-McKay
Writer and Voice-Over Actor

“Just wanted to say thanks again for a very informative presentation this morning. It was very helpful, and I thought you did a great job of giving us a general overview of Twitter in a short period of time.”
Sonia Potts

“With so much to cover I appreciated how organized you were and how you stayed on track. Taking the approach of showing how the mechanical features of Twitter could be used for positioning and building our business was particularly helpful.”
Charlie Zimmerman
Publisher, The Wedding Companion

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Feature Articles

Monarchs Are All You Survey

Silicon Valley Magazine

Well, at least they're one of the more spectacular sights at Santa Cruz

Sunday, October 3, 1999

Silicon Valley Magazine

By Karen Kefauver

There is nothing like a leisurely afternoon observing wildlife to break from work ands have a reminder of our humble origins. My favorite place for reflection on the variety of species thriving here on the Central Coast is at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. Watching creatures in their natural habitat is a reassurance that some conservation efforts have paid off though many battles remain.

The 65-acre park on the north end of West Cliff Drive is home to the snowy egret, the gray fox and the beleaguered gopher. The park's beach offers an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, seals, sea otters and sea lions. If you have trouble distinguishing these marine mammals like I do, the visitor center provides helpful displays and guides.

At low tide, it's fun to explore the tidepools and search for sea stars, anemones, crabs, sea slugs and snails. Even if I don't find a purple sea urchin, I like to watch the kids shriek with delight at the sight of a hermit crab racing across the rocks. During February and March, I pull out my binoculars to look for the gray whales on their way to Baja from Alaska, part of their biannual 10,000-mile roundtrip migration.

At this time of year, the mighty monarch takes central stage. The park's Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve attracts up to 150,000 butterflies from early October through the end of the February. Located next to the visitor center, the entrance to the preserve leads to a 5-minute walk down a wooden boardwalk into the fragrant eucalyptus grove.

"The monarchs choose this area because of protection from wind and rain. It is not too warm, but they need cool weather and moist air. It's the perfect micro-climate," explained Julie Sidel, Interpretive Specialist at Natural Bridges. "There is a flurry of mating around February. Towards the end of the month, they fly in search of milkweed patches. The females will lay hundreds of eggs. In spring, they will turn into butterflies. They live six to nine months."

The monarchs rest in the eucalyptus grove after their sojourn as far as 2,000 miles. Sometimes they cluster so densely that the tree branches are completely covered by their delicate black and orange wings. In the spring, they return inland to valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains.

The park also maintains a milkweed patch that shows the Danaus plexippus in earlier phases of development -- monarch eggs, caterpillars and chrysalises.

In celebration of the butterfly, the park hosts its annual Welcome Back Monarch Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 10. "It's a fun and funky festival," said organizer Julie Sidel. In honor of this year's 20th anniversary, the free festival includes a retrospective of the past two decades, music by the Mostly Mediocre Musical Monarch Mariposas, and appearances by "superheroes": Monarch Man, Monarch Woman and Caterpillar Boy. At the migration parade, costumes are encouraged.

The fesitval also features the history of Natural Bridges, which was named for the arches carved out of the sandstone cliff. Two of the three brigdes have collapsed. The middle bridge remains but is succumbing to erosion. The arches were popular places for early settlers to have picnics and hold weddings. The Ohlone Indians were the first inhabitants of the area.

There is only one precaution for this excursion: watch out for poison oak and stinging nettles, which are easily avoided if you stay on the trails. Also take good walking shoes and a windbreaker for morning fog. You may want to leave the dog at home since pets are allowed in parking lots and picnic areas only and cost $1 extra at the park entrance, at the corner of West Cliff Drive and Swanton Blvd. The parking fee is $6 for the day, but you can find free parking on Delaware Ave. and Natural Bridges State Drive, by Silicon Systems, a few minutes from Highway 1.

Finally, be sure to pack a picnic since no day trip is complete without a hearty lunch! You can pick up tasty fare near Natural Bridges at Beckmann's Bakery or New Leaf's deli, both on Mission Street. If time permits, wander a few miles down Delaware to UCSC's Joseph M. Long Marine Labarotory, where free tours of marine mammals and sharks are available. (Call 831-459-3854). The LML is currently in transition as they move into spacious 20,000-foot Seymour Marine Discovery Center, which will open in spring 2000.

Natural Bridges' free Monarch Tours begin October 12 and take place every Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., through February. For more information, call (831) 423-4609.

KAREN KEFAUVER is a Santa Cruz-based freelance writer.

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