Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring


Yesterday afternoon, it was sunny enough that the butterflies came out. I captured a picture of an Anise Swallowtail laying eggs in my fennel. And a Cabbage White was in the nasturtium; I think it was sunning, not laying.

Yesterday morning I noticed a neighbor out gardening. I complimented her on her beautiful purple lupine. Turns out that that species is a host plant for the Mission Blue. So we started talking about butterflies and she told me about a Monarch hovering around her Family Jewels. I went over to take a look at the plant, and sure enough, it had eggs on it. She said I was welcome to take specimens, especially since she had stumped it back and there was not likely to have enough foliage for all the caterpillars. Yay! Now Andy won't have to drive all over the bay area to get Monarchs for our presentations!

Also,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nothern Checkerspot

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!