Sunday, March 15, 2009

Butterflies, again

The Painted Ladies are flying again. Since the rainfall this season was barely moderate, there are not a lot of them, but certainly enough to be noticeable. I wrote about them a while back in the Samantha and the Butterflies post. As I drive to town and back, I'll see a few at a time every so often on the roads. The butterflies depend on blooming wildflowers for food and the wildflowers are not in abundance this year. Up here and all the way down into Hemet, there is a lot of fiddleneck blooming now. Some of the fillaree is also blooming. A few popcorn flowers are starting and there are the white "belly flowers"--flowers that are so small and so close to the ground that one must lie down on one's stomach to see them. Those are the only herbaceous flowering plants currently. The ceanothus shrubs are also blooming now. West of Sage Road are the lovely blue species. On this side, we have only white flowering ones. I do not remember how many species of native ceanothus, also called California Lilac, there are, but most are blue with only a few species of white flowering ones. As far as cultivated plants, most of the flowering trees are blooming now. Nature is wonderful--less rain means less wildflowers and less butterflies that need the wildflowers.

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