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