Wrightwood Blues

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Fri Jun 18 21:30:01 EDT 1999

It was already a nice day, but I noticed that the smog level was especially
high in the Southland (that's what the L.A. newscasters like to think us
L.A. natives like to call this place).  I decided to take a long lunch and
make tracks to the local mountains.

A lot of people think I'm strange to drive an hour and a half for a two hour
excursion, only to drive back home again.  Thank God I drive a 3-cylinder
car (yes, they DO make such a thing).

At highway 138 and Interstate 15, things were blowing pretty hard.  And hot!
Lots of chaparral plants in bloom, though.  I drove on up the highway to
Wrightwood, along the Lone Pine Rd.  Still pretty much wind blown, but a
nice day up there.  I took me a nice long stroll through the pine and
chaparral forest, and watched an explosion of Blues!  They were everywhere,
but then so was the Lupine that they were most interested in.  This was the
largest population of Arrowhead Blues (Glaucopsyche piasus) that I've ever
seen.  They were flying together with just as many Boisduval's Blues
(Plebejus icarioides), so I had to watch them carefully to get id's.  The G.
piasus were definitely more worn, but they seemed to be content in sharing
the Lupine.  Many were mating and ovipositing.  There were also Lupine Blues
sharing the same foodplant.  I didn't see any Melissa Blues.

I didn't see much else that wasn't blue in color.  Not what I expected, but
as usual a wonderful experience nonetheless.  Too bad I didn't have a camera
(when am I going to stop saying that?).

Here's a list:

Glaucopsyche piasus (Arrowhead Blue)
Plebejus icarioides (Boisduval's Blue)
Plebejus lupinus (Lupine Blue)

Plebejus acmon (Acmon Blue)
Hemiargus isola (Reakirt's Blue)
Adelpha bredowii (California Sister)
Nymphalis antiopa (Mourning Cloak)
Papilio eurymedon (Pale Swallowtail)
Erynnis persius (Persius Duskywing)
Erynnis propertius (Propertius Duskywing)
Erynnis funeralis (Funereal Duskywing)
Heliopetes ericetorum (Large White Skipper)
Hesperia comma (Common Branded Skipper)

Mark Walker
Mission Viejo, CA

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