Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Migrating Butterflies

There were butterflies everywhere in our yard yesterday, and all over the neighborhood. Mom was really excited but us doggies didn't care at all. Migrating cats would have been a lot more interesting!

Ron Sullivan, Mom's favorite nature writer, wrote a wonderful article about the butterflies in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Blooms that will nourish and welcome our burgeoning tortoiseshell butterflies
Ron Sullivan
Saturday, April 16, 2005

Hmmm...or are these the Painted Lady butterflies?
Heavy rains produce crop of migrating butterflies Bay Area decorated by painted ladies on journey north
Glen Martin, Chronicle Environment Writer
Saturday, April 9, 2005

California Tortoiseshell Butterfly


At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous barked...

Hi Cynthia and Sammy,
We noticed the butterflies too! It was so cool to see. Your Cousin Kodi thought they were interesting, hopefully she won't find them intriguing enough to eat, like bees are...
Hugs to all,
Aunt Cindy and Cousin Kodi

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Heidi barked...

What beautiful butterflys. I bet they were very pretty everywhere!!

Ve are going to have snow dis veekend!! YUK! Ve are still waiting for spring.

At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Ron Sullivan barked...

Got your email, Cynthia. You're the fourth person who's asked me that! Only reasonable, all things considered. One questioner is a tortie expert in Davis. Yikes.

I wrote that column in March, and it got published several weeks later than I'd expected. I was definitely seeing torties then. By now, they're all gone, and their babies are munching ceanothus. The guy in Davis expects a new hatch sometime after May 15th, and it might be a big one too.

The migrants are painted ladies:

and ironically enough, Joe and I went down to Death Valley right after I wrote that column and saw the painted ladies at the start of their flight. Incredible!

What was in Mitchell Canyon this past Wednesday was, sure enough, tired-looking painted ladies; tiger, anise (ahem, yampah!) and pale swallowtails, California sisters, variable checkerspots, Sarah's orange-tips, um I forget which sulfur, and common ringlets. Probably one or two I've forgotten.

Also birds including western tanager, Bullock's orioles, and hermit warbler, plus the usual suspects. Including Rich Stallcup and a field trip...

Oh -- the calochortus are blooming, and we found some wind poppies.




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