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!
My film, "The Secret Lives of Monarchs," is now available on Amazon.
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. I am also publishing a series of butterfly paper-crafts in the Butterfly Gardener Magazine.