Big Sur and Beyond

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Campbell, California, January 31, 2008
And so ends the first month, an unusually adverse one for butterflies in S. Cal. Of it, I could write an “Essay on Absence” — but really, isn’t that as it should be, for butterflies, in January, while we still have a winter worthy of the name?

A few species, at least, have appeared in canyons above Malibu on rare sunny mornings.

Camped here [Big Sur postcard] at Bixby Bridge, where Jack Kerouac hung out, befriended a donkey and Steller’s Jays, suffered DT’s, took dictation from the waves, and wrote it all in his funny, dark, shocking, and too-seldom read book, Big Sur. I found Veined Whites & Satyr Anglewings here.

Best garlic grouper [Marisa’s card] in the Tijuana River Estuary! (Where I became very well acquainted with the Border Patrol)

Then [monarch photo] down-coast to th best of the monarch colony this poor winter, at Esalen. And [Desert Tower postcard] across to the deserts Anza Borrego, Yula, Salton, And borderlands, where I saw all manner of strange and wonderful fauna. But butterflies, in the continuing spate of cold, wet weather, were not among the sightings.


  1. Joy at discovering this adventurous, literary, Orion Blog Bob! And one that addresses both the identities of the (so far unfortunately few) butterflies you’ve ferreted out, as well as Jack K’s encounters, tortures, and sea songs at Bixby. Here’s a greeting from Uncle Walt: Am typing this missive with the left hand as the right is splinted and bandaged from a minor operation yesterday (Dupytren’s Contracture). The right should be sound for net sweeps by flight time here in the NW.

  2. Hey, Bob, what happened to Marsha? At least two of your photos show you with a net that has a (shudder!) metal handle.

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