A walk among butterflies

August 1, 2012

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.

About the Author

Jen Joynt is a Bay Area wildlife photographer and contributor to Bay Nature. She also writes a blog.

Read This Next

Scientists Look to a Rare Butterfly’s Next of Kin

Encounters with a Rare Ginger Badger at Point Reyes

Apparently Coyotes Can Climb Trees

Fall 2023 Editor’s Letter: Wildlife Paradox