female cloudless sulphur (BAMONA)
If I didn't know I took this picture on Saturday in the middle of January, 105 miles down the coast as the crow flies in Los Osos/Baywood Park, I would have guessed this was taken sometime in late September or October, based on the yellow and green coloring of the sweetgum (in the garden behind the Back Bay Inn). Up here in Monterey, November is usually when sweetgum leaves have finished turning bright red before dropping completely off the tree. Apparent seasons on the coast continually surprise me, even after living here for 12 years. I can't tell you much about the timing of the butterfly, either. I don't think January is typical for cloudless sulphur sightings in CA considering there's only one other report this year down in Orange Co. and another back in 1977 down in Riverside Co. (according to BAMONA and an additional quick internet search). Both Art and Chris make little mention of the cloudless sulphur, because it's a more southerly butterfly. So, is this a migrant? Did it recently emerge from its crysalis nearby? Who knows?