Butterflies at Bearbones

A large fritillary (Hydaspe I think) was one of four enjoying the flowers of mockorange (Philadelphus lewisii) once they emerged from the shade.

I don’t have time today to write a real report, and there weren’t any really exciting moments on my hike to Bearbones Mountain yesterday (July 27). I did add 5 species to my plant list and collected seed from a number of plants. As I scan them, I’ll add them to my seed gallery. It was a good day for butterfly photography, even though there weren’t many species, so I thought I would at least share some photos. I spent a good 45 minutes sitting (actually I was mostly teetering on a small ledge on a large rock) beside a perfectly blooming mockorange that was the focal point for all the butterflies in the area. Between the happy butterflies, the pleasant breeze, and the heavenly fragrance of the lovely flowers, I can’t imagine a better way to pass an afternoon.

Bees were also plentiful. This bumblebee worked the mountain thistle (Cirsium remotifolium) flower for quite some time.

Like most composites, silverback luina (Luina hypoleuca) is an excellent nectar plant for butterflies. Here a fritillary and three skippers enjoy the blossoms of this late-blooming perennial. The other flower is northern or arrowleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum compositum). Sulphur buckwheat (E. umbellatum) and bare-stemmed buckwheat (E. nudum) were also blooming well.

A skipper (juba or common-branded?) enjoys the tiny florets of silverback luina.

After the spring flowers are all gone, harebells come into bloom. On the left is California harebell (Campanula prenanthoides). It was coming into bloom along Road 5850 near Bearbones and finishing up along Hills Creek Reservoir on the way out. On the right is Scouler’s harebell (Campanula scouleri), a very common but often overlooked woodland plant. It was abundant everywhere at Bearbones.

2 Responses to “Butterflies at Bearbones”

  • Kris:

    Yep, any day that is spent with butterflies, flowers, bumble bees, etc., and getting nice photos (as you do) is a good day. :)

  • Hi Tanya! Your frit at the top of the page is Northwestern Fritillary (now has a newer name also). The grass skipper is a Western Branded Skipper.

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