I was at the UC Botanical Garden yesterday looking for pollinators when I spotted this butterfly sunning itself in the path. It was quite accommodating, sticking around for many pics as I got closer and closer. This was the only good pic. According to my field guide, this is a male, because the female is usually cream and black. This species overwinters as a caterpillar. Food plants include aster, rabbit brush, and goldenrod.
Many bees were working in the the ceanothus, but I didn't get any photos. In addition to the ceanothus, many other plants were in bloom, including wallflower, summer holly, and giant coreopsis. Truly a beautiful spring day!
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I studied Conservation of Natural Resources. I took a couple of entomology classes and became very interested in insects. After I graduated, I held several jobs working with bugs: in the fields of central California, the forests of Connecticut and Idaho, and the labs of Berkeley. Then I went to grad school and studied entomology at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley (back in the olden days when UCB had an entomology department). When my kids were little, I wanted to share my love of insects with them, so I started a butterfly garden before butterfly gardens were popular. Then of course, their teachers asked me to bring caterpillars into the classroom and I started doing classroom presentations. I do presentations in elementary schools, provide teacher trainings, teach adult school classes, and bring live insect specimens to garden fairs. My book is perfect for helping elementary school kids learn about butterflies.