Early wildflowers, butterfly

Some of the very, very early flowers and butterfly seen today on a fast trip to the lower area of Figueroa Mountain (as far as the first big pullout on the right) and back again. The usual early flowers were seen – California buttercup, fiddleneck, milkmaids, miner’s lettuce, California poppy, lomatium, etc. At least a dozen Sara’s Orangetip butterflies were seen nectaring on fiddleneck near Alamo Pintado Creek, Birabent Canyon.

Sara's Orangetip
(Figueroa Mountain – Sara’s Orangetip on fiddleneck – Click image for larger version)

Sara's Orangetip
(Figueroa Mountain – Sara’s Orangetip on fiddleneck – Click image for larger version)

Just a short way up at the sharp left bend, Sara’s Orangetip were also seen. Since no fiddleneck were apparent, a closer investigation revealed that the butterflies were nectaring on a very small dark pink flower that I had not noticed in previous years. When I saw the flower, I guessed Phlox family, and it turns out to be slender phlox.

Slender Phlox
(Figueroa Mountain – Slender Phlox – Click image for larger version)

There were many new leaves for a variety of species. Some of the buckbrush ceanothus are close to blooming. Hopefully, more rain will fall to allow them and other plants to flower in reasonable abundance this year.

Sara’s Orangetip Information Links