A walk among butterflies

by on August 01, 2012

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I never quite know what I might find when I set out with my camera, my binoculars, and my wandering eyes.  Recently, I headed out in Tilden Nature Area, one of my regular haunts, hoping to find fun wildlife to photograph.

And I did, although not quite what I was expecting.  About a quarter mile into my walk, my eye was captivated by a pale swallowtail.  I love watching swallowtails, but it seems every time I see one with camera in hand, they have no interest in landing.  Fortunately, this one did land for me.

As I continued my walk, I found a Lorquin’s admiral alight on some scat (looked like coyote scat to me).  Apparently, butterflies get salt and other minerals from scat.

I often see California buckeyes while I am hiking.  They appear dusty and drab-looking until you get a close up and can see their beautiful markings.

As I headed down one of my favorite unofficial side trails, I caught a northern checkerspot spreading its wings.

One last detour on my way back led to multiple swallowtails and a few more opportunities to photograph them.

And, then, just as I reached the end of the trail, I spotted another Lorquin’s admiral, which appeared to be standing and feeding on a leaf.

A few walkers came by, and the Admiral flew off.  It had turned out to be a lovely little adventure: my own personal butterfly walk.

Most recent in Wildlife: Invertebrates, Reptiles, Amphibians

See all stories in Wildlife: Invertebrates, Reptiles, Amphibians


Emily on August 1st, 2012 at 12:11 pm

What a lovely, peaceful experience. Thank you for sharing!

Liam O'Brien on August 1st, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Glorious! Felt like I was out in nature just here at my desk. Jen caught some marvelous behavior of these creatures: Pale Tigers are known to be attracted to red flowers ( I’ve even seen them in the Sierras on Snow Plant! Who knew?) The Northern Checkerspot is a female and the “sitting” on the Lorquin’s is because he is one of the “perching” butterflies – darting out from about shoulder height
at anything in hopes of a mate. Nice job Jen. Always fantastic when we can go beyond their beauty and show the world their behavior. Bravo Bay Nature!

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