2017—Missed Spectacle

A front page article in the August 4th edition of the Bend Bulletin, shouted that California Tortoiseshell Butterflies blanketed central Oregon for the couple of months before I arrived.  These black and orange beauties were reported to fill the air in dense clouds at ground zero, Sparks Lake where we were headed the next day.  I was excited that I might find some spectacular sights there until I got to the end of the article which basically said the butterflies had disappeared by now.  I wondered about the timeliness of the article.  Our visit to Sparks Lake the next day yielded a paltry few Butterflies sitting at the edge of the water with closed wings so the brilliant orange and black pattern was not visible.  A missed spectacle for sure.  The newspaper must have needed a filler that day.  However, before we left to drive to the lake, I went out to the front garden with its inviting rudbeckia and noticed a lone California Tortoiseshell Butterfly sipping nectar from the center of the cone flowers.  It kept its wings closed most of the time except when it flew to another flower.  I managed to get only a single shot of the open wings.

Tortoiseshell butterfly