On days with higher temperatures the butterflies seem to appear everywhere.
This is a Variable Checkerspot Euphydryas chalcedona sipping on dandelion nectar in our front yard. I was cutting dried up California poppy stems, and suddenly this butterfly appeared right next me.
This is so exciting, because I've been waiting to see these in our garden. After three and a half years living here, my patience has been rewarded.
And gardening with a camera dangling from my neck isn't such a crazy idea.
After laying eggs on the passion flower vine, the Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae rested in the sun on the leaf of a California figwort Scrophularia californica.
Umber skippers Poanes melane thrive in the garden.
Their host plants are various grasses, including tufted hairgrass.
Since there are several kinds of grasses growing in the garden, I assume they are hosting these butterflies.
This skipper is feasting on the nectar of a new blossom on a Russian River Coyote Mint Monardella villosa. Its proboscis is the thin arched black line.
The painted ladies Vanessa cardui are also back.
This one is sipping the nectar of a red valerian flowerhead.
The Red Valerian is not a California native, and can be quite invasive.
I don't dig them out, because they provide supplemental nourishment for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.