[LEPS-L:8019] Anza Borrego, CA 11/25

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Tue Nov 28 22:03:29 EST 2000

Well, not much to report I'm afraid.  The weather was stunning - clear and
hot in the low desert.  There were even a few flowers blooming - though most
of the flora in the desert is taking a few months off.  The children
accompanied me on this trip, and were fascinated by the explosive quail and
the large hawk that swooped down in front of us to snatch a rather large
snake.  Christian hiked up high to the large rock where the raptor later
perched to enjoy it's prey.  We never could id the snake - probably not a
viper.  It was easily 5 ft. long.  There was nothing left of it but a few
drops of blood.

The quail can be quite alarming.  They sit in groups quietly inside thick
bushes until you're right upon them - and then they shoot out of the bush
like fireworks.  It's enough to scare the beegeebies (sp?) out of ya.  Lucky
for the kids that I was along to keep a level head (yeah, right - one severe
blast by the quail and I molted a few layers of skin).

The leps were few, save for the Painted Ladies and Pygmy Blues.  We stopped
in several places - including the spot where I found the Danaids
overwintering several years ago.  Not a one to report, I'm afraid.  The
trees were barren of butts.  Perhaps too early - or perhaps they're not
driven to return.  If possible, I'll check again in early January.

The little Orange Skipperling (Capaeodes aurantiacia) was plentiful enough.
By far the most common lep was Vanessa cardui - patrolling the same canyons
that Euphydryas, Chlosyne, and Anthocharis favor in the early spring.
Seemingly always present are the tiny Western Pygmy Blues (Brephidium
exile), though not as plentiful as even a month ago.  Also present was the
Buckeye (Junonia coenia), and a pretty little Catocala with pink hindwings.

Waiting for spring,

Mark Walker.
Oceanside, CA

"How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
  How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
  the Lord will hear when I call to him."

Psalm 4:2-3


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