Week 14

Monterey Week 14

The hike up the steep fire road to the ridge above King City was physically demanding, but filled with promise.  Columbian Skipper and Thicket Hairstreak have always been here on this upper Pine Canyon hilltop in April, but this was April 3rd . .  am I too early?  I had already whiffed today on Edith’s Checkerspot (too dry?) and Moss’s Elfin (too early), so surely fate wouldn’t be that cruel.  The skipper was first, and easy, perched on bare ground as usual, as he posed for some admiring photos.  Usually 2-3 hairstreaks chase each other around the hilltop manzanita, but, with no visible activity, I resorted to bush-tapping.  After two tries a hairstreak flew out and landed practically on my nose, for another good photo.  Wish it was always this easy.

The rest of my week in hometown Monterey was dedicated to taking care of long-delayed unfinished business (like taxes), visiting with friends, and a family Easter weekend.  Wednesday the 8th I return to Florida.

New Species:  Thicket Hairstreak Callophrys spinetorum, Boisduval's Blue Plebejus icarioides, Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini, Two-banded Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus ruralis, Northern White-Skipper Heliopetes ericetorum, Columbian Skipper Hesperia columbia, Rural Skipper Ochlodes agricola

New Species:  7     Total trip species:  170     Species Photographed:  159

Highlight Species: Sara Orange-tip, Silvery Blue, Boisduval’s Blue

(top) Pacific Sara orange tip nectaring on fiddlenecks in Garrapata SP, Big Sur.   Differentiating Silvery (middle) and Boisduval’s (bottom) blues can be tricky, but note the extra row of spots along the outer edge of the underside of the forewing in Boisduval’s.    

© Chris Tenney 2014