Warming Days of July

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Warming Days of July

Swede Park, Gray’s River

It’s delicious to be home for a bit between the High Sierra / High Rockies and the Olympics / North Cascades. True, there’s not much flying here compared to those butterfly-rich ranges, where I hugely enjoyed high times, among montane specialties such as Behr’s Sulphurs, Magdalena Alpines, and Melissa Arctics. Still, it was fine today to walk in our hills of home with Thea, recovered from a tough bout of chemotherapy, watching big cherry-spotted Clodius Parnassians.

I’ve been especially grateful lately for our public lands — BLM, NPS, USFWS, and especially USFS, which welcome butterfly nets. There’s nothing less helpful to the peripatetic naturalist than a barbed-wire fence with a big “NO TRESPASSING” sign. I prefer Woody Guthrie’s little-known verse: “But on the other side, it didn’t say nothin’, that side was meant for you and me.” Traveling this land as I am, I become more appreciative than ever of those lands held in trust — and in access — for us all.

Thea just came in with a big bowl of raspberries — I’ve got to go.

My visit to Colorado’s eastern slope was hosted and facilitated by dear friends Jan and Amy Chu of Boulder, whose good photos grace this entry. We prowled the Gambel’s Oak Country to see the extraordinary, amethyst-purple Colorado Hairstreak, the State Butterfly.

[top] —
A few places I’ve been hanging out lately, along the butterfly highway.

[bottom] — And a good laugh! Well, they can’t always get these right.

And a few artifacts from the road —

Baltimore Pin, Illinois

Leaves from the Thunder Tree, Highline Canal, Colorado

[left feather] — from a Rocky Mountain Goshawk

[right feather] Steller’s Jay feather, and a Florida pea

Photos below by Janet Chu

Magdalena Alpine butterfly on the nose of Amy Chu

“Reserved for Bob,” Idaho Springs

Edwards’ Fritillary female, about to be released

RMP & Janet Chu at the Thunder Tree, High Line Canal, 33 years after first butterfly count there


  1. I just enjoyed a reprise of Xerces and Orion blogs — and came upon some new comments, added at earlier entries since I last perused them (Seth White’s posted here at Catalina entry causes me to hope to learn what he will discover about Danube’s fishes).

    And my latest comment is — what an infectious new hybrid form of natural history Robert is fashioning via these blogs; in a way serving as a sort of peripatetic St. Valentine; and, bringing a fresh freedom of expression and revitalized curiosity to an elsewise rather incarcerating medium.

    Thanks for observational clarity of geographically dizzying travelogue; we look fwd. to reading outcome in bogs on blogs!

  2. I choose Woodsy Guthrie’s little-known verse: “But on the other part, it didn’t say nothin’, that part was intended for you and me.” Journeying this area as I am, I become more grateful than ever of those areas organised in believe in — and in accessibility — for us all. diet and supplement information for beginners

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