Spring Butterfly Madness (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 11 May 2007

Spring Butterfly Madness

It's spring, and butterflies are everywhere in the local parks. If you like butterflies and live in Northern California (or anywhere with a similar climate), get yourself out this weekend ot check out the action! There are a few northern checkerspots, tiger swallowtails and others flitting about, but the real partiers are the variable checkerspots.

[Variable checkerspot butterflies on yerba santa] At Stevens Creek, they're clustered in huge numbers on the pale blue-violet flowers of yerba santa. Some yerba santa bushes are completely covered with butterflies. Others aren't: a closer look shows that those bushes have flowers pointing down, rather than up. Maybe once a flower is pollinated and its nectar gone, it sags?

[Variable checkerspot butterflies on buckeye flowers] On the other side of the road, at Piccheti Ranch, yerba santa isn't so common, and the checkerspots gather on the last of the clusters of buckeye flowers.

And one more checkerspot-on-yerba-santa picture, just 'cause they're pretty.

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[ 20:17 May 11, 2007    More nature | permalink to this entry ]