Late Washington Butterflies - USA

Patricia and Jeff Harding jmh at
Wed Sep 22 21:54:43 EDT 1999

Last weekend I took a walk on Mt. Rainier in Western Washington, USA and
found a number of butterflies still flying, at about 6,500 feet
elevation.  The most surprising were Silvery Blues (Glaucopsyche
lygdamus).  Bob Pyle says they never linger into late summer in his
Audubon Field Guide, although Hinchliff's Atlas of Washington
butterflies gives them until early september.   Pine Whites (Neophasia
menapia) and Anise Swallowtails (Papilio zelicaon) were common, and
Purplish Coppers (Lycaena helloides) were flying with Arctic
Fritillaries (Boloria chariclea).  A large dark butterfly flew by
without stopping.  I did not have a net, since it was a National Park
and all.  There may have been other fritillaries and blues too.  A
sulphur was probably C. eurytheme.  A net would have been handy - I am
not as quick with the camera (not that I'm so quick with a net either).
We were on the West side of the mountain, at Spray Park, and I recommend
the place.  It is a bit of a walk - 8 miles round trip, 2000 feet
elevation gain, but really nice parklands there seemingly on top of the
Cheers, Jeff

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