The butterflies are arriving

After a couple of days of rain, the weather is sunny, a little nippy and breezy.

This is the second time I've ever seen a red admiral butterfly Vanessa atalanta in our garden.

It isn't certain if they migrate here, but red admirals overwinter in the Bay Area.

The red admiral here rested for a long time, soaking in the warmth of the sun.

How exciting is this - my first sighting of a California Tortoiseshell butterfly Nymphalis californica.

The usual habitat for these butterflies are chaparral, woodland, brush areas, forest clearings and edges.

Here it is in my next door neighbor's tea tree, in the late afternoon sun.

The usual host plant for the larva of the California Tortoiseshell is ceanothus.

Our large native Ray Hartman ceanothus shrub is growing just a few feet away from the tea tree.

It would be wonderful if California Tortoiseshells are laying eggs in our ceanothus.

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