Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Today seemed to flutter by with butterflies

Intern Rachel and I met up early this morning, and were on the road by 7:00 to survey the Wauboose Lake block for breeding birds.  She had a friend visiting her this holiday weekend that was supposed to go with us, but apparently they had a slight disagreement last night and the so called friend packed up and left at six this morning.  Okay, well that gave us a little more room in the truck for our stuff.  One of the trials and tribulations of being young, I guess.  I think if we’re lucky, as we age, we out grow the need for such drama over minor diffugalties. 


It was a very foggy morning, and presented some challenges along the Egg Lake trail.  It’s hard to see birds in such fog.


The fog was beginning to lift a bit as we got to Big Egg lake, but these white pelicans out by one of the islands were all hunkered down.  Heavy fog doesn’t make for very good soaring conditions.  We picked up five new species on our journey today, and several confirmations.

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This road was flooded not so long ago by beavers.  If beavers hear trickling water, they tend to dam it up.  Two new culverts with grates were installed two weeks ago so the road wouldn’t flood anymore, but as you can see on the left, these industrious beavers filled the culvert with logs and mud behind the grate.  The water is rising and barely a trickle is going through the berm.  We’ll report this to staff tomorrow, before it becomes a massive problem again.  Around here, I’m thinking busy as a beaver is a more apt saying than busy as a bee.


I think we saw more butterflies today than birds.  They seemed to be congregating everywhere.  This batch of white admirals and one northern pearly-eye were getting some needed nutrients out of the soil around the levy.


A little way down the road, an Eastern comma stopped by.  I’m sure glad I was provided with a stack of field guides here so I could figure out the different species we saw today.


As we neared the gate out of the Egg Lake trail there were hundreds of Northern Pearly-eyes covering the path.  They were just swirling around the truck on our approach and a few landed on Rachel as she got out to open the gate.  I’ve never seen so many butterflies in such masses.

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As we got to the next gate, the pearly-eyes were covering the foliage.  It reminded me of the mass dragonfly hatch that happened about two weeks ago.  They were just everywhere!


                               In lesser numbers were Atlantis fritillaries feeding on wolf scat, and…


                                              Silvery checkerspots enjoying the wildflowers.  

The birding activity may be dwindling as summer progresses and raising the next generation is accomplished, but that sure doesn’t mean that other flora and fauna are done reaching their peaks.  Such an ebb and flow with nature.  I didn’t have one tick on me today, but the deer flies are sure making their presence known!  Such is life…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Those beavers and their dams seem to have the same mindset of the Corps of Engineers, 'if it flows...dam it all'.

  2. Wow, how nice to see such a gathering of different butterflies. So beautiful.

  3. Ouch, those darn flies can bite too!! They love to bite me. The butterflies are beautiful, I've never seen them sitting in masses like that either. Interesting.

    Ah yes on the youth thing too. Things that used to bother us when younger seem so silly & trivial now. And they should be silly & trivial!

  4. I remember those days of youth, glad I'm over that stage of the game.
    Love the pictures taken with the fog. All the pictures are great. Never saw so many butterflies in one place.

  5. Love all the butterflies. We have seen mass dragonfly hatches before, it was amazing but messy for the car when we were driving thru the area.

  6. I love the foggy pictures - so mystical! Good butterfly shots as well. I think I'd need more than a field guide - by the time I found what I wanted the butterfly would be gone.

  7. Beautiful butterflies! I am horrible at identifying them. I hope the humidity moves on out this week..usually we don't have this many days in a row with heat and humidity:)

  8. me too ~ love the foggy pictures.. soo cool and surreal ~ fairies are about, I just know it. I've always loved butterflies ~ love going to butterfly exhibits and sit amongst the fluttering. very relaxing...

    I storm more now than I did when I was younger. don't know why.

  9. The interns at Laguna Atascosa did not all get along, a lot of tears some mornings, and a few of them left early because of it. Its great that you saw all of those butterflies. I'm glad to here that your volunteer time is spent outside as your prefer it to be.

  10. How interesting about the beavers. I had to smile at their work, even though it's not a good thing.

    What beautiful butterfly pictures.

    I don't know which is worse, ticks or deer flies.

  11. Great pictures of the butterflies. It is amazing how fast those beavers can work. One of the best things about being older is that we have filtered out those who can't seem to live without the drama.

  12. When we had our pond a beaver set up residence one year, he did a lot of damage both to the pond and the fish population. But he tried one day to cross the road and just did move fast enough. Always amazes me the wildlife picture you and Al Bossence manage to snap. Generally by the time I turn my camera on the critters have scattered. Working at the restaurant with a bunch of young people the drama they have in their lives is unbelieveable, fortunately very litte of it at work itself. Some of the real drama queens just make me chuckle.

  13. Lovely header photo.

    The foggy morning added so much beauty to the photos.

  14. I am so glad I'm no longer young and dealing with all the drama of that age. At least she had the beautiful butterflies to help her forget. Beavers can be such a problem.

  15. So now deer flies tick you off? You can't win with nature's pests, always something wanting to take a bite out of you.

    At least it's not gators... :cD

  16. At least the tif didn't carry over to where you had to listen to it. Love the foggy pictures and butterflies are my favorite.

  17. Glad to hear no ticks. Deer flies oh YUCK! I had no idea you were also a butterfly expert. Boy those are great photographs and you knew them all. I don't think I've ever seen that many different butterflies in one day in a relatively small area. Those are some days you are having.

  18. I don't like to see anything suffer, but a deer fly…hmmm. When they bite me, I feel nothing but revenge. LOL

  19. What a potpourri of great photos