Friday, April 17, 2015

Pacific Orangetip and other notes

In my past I used to hunt butterflies. Some of my old skills and instincts still kick in when a butterfly flutters by. I did not do very well getting a picture of this Anthocharis sara  Pacific orangetip (see 

Anthocharis sara  Pacific orangetip 

This butterfly caught my attention mostly because it is indicative of open meadow habitat. I observed this butterfly on a southwest facing slope, with loose outwash sand soil, and in the rain shadow of the Olympics. A sort of mini terrain of central California coastal habitat that brought back my butterfly instinctive reactions.

I failed to get a picture of the orangetip on a flower, but it was on this flower that appears to be a brassicaceae (I am pushing my plant skills):

Down the slope I came across a flower I did recognize, but not the same as the above:

Brassica rapa

Brassica rapa

Brassica rapa is a prevalent spring flower of California; however, it is not native in North America, but is now firmly established. It is listed as a noxious weed on some lists. The NRCS does not have it in Jefferson County where I saw it, but someone working on removing noxious weeds at the base of the slope was including it in weeds to be pulled along with poison hemlock.

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