Cabbage Whites Pieris rapae are always a joy to observe as they flit through the garden, seemingly weightless.
They were introduced to North America from Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. But there is a possibility that they were introduced earlier to California by the Spanish during the Mission Period.
In the photo above the Cabbage White female is feeding on the nectar of a red valerian blossom.
Look carefully and you can see its arched proboscis behind its eye.
The Cabbage White from another angle on another red valerian blossom
Although it is said that these butterflies are around the Bay Area year-round, I never see them in the winter months. They appear in our garden starting in the late Spring through early Fall.