Wednesday, June 2, 2010

habitat ~ 06/02/10 ~ Huckleberry Hill

Huckleberry Hill
June 2, 2010

What the heck does a huckleberry look like? I still need to look this up, because we kept making guesses with each vine or shrub we encountered figuring the hill was named for a reason. I would have just as easily named the place Monterey Pine Hill. According to an interpretive sign, this is one of the largest remaining native Monterey Pine forests in the world. I think "native" is the operative word in this impressive description. I'm tempted to lump this place with Del Monte Forest, but I'll continue with my previous location rules and specify by route of access.

There's a little section behind the Presidio with a bunch of yellow flags labeled with endangered species. It wasn't until we walked a little farther when we found the Yadon's piperia (Piperia yadonii) signs, but no evidence of the actual orchid.

Btw, those stairs are much easier to take coming down than going up!

acmon blue ~ 06/02/10 ~ Huckleberry Hill

acmon blue
Plebejus acmon

This is one of my better butterfly pictures and had to post. It's a sweet little butterfly which tends to hold still long enough for me to get the camera out. I like the iridescent blue spots and the seemingly snobby upturned nose. For something so small, it's got presence and stylish attitude.

ps 06/21/10 - There's a possibility that this is a lupine blue (Plebejus lupini). I certainly can't tell the difference just by looks from the underside. I believe (and I could be wrong), that we have both species flying locally this time of year. Glassberg notes that these two species may be one and the same.

pss 05/0514 - I originally posted this as acmon blue (Plebejus acmon) and have changed the ID above to lupine blue.  I've been in discussion with Paul Johnson at Pinnacles about these two look-alike butterflies, and I'm posting this with his permission.  So often one can only get a clear picture of the underside of the hindwing, because of the way these small butterflies like to perch.  His idea is that the metallic scales are different colors in each species.  I've looked at a ton of online photographs, and based on his idea, I've decided the following for my blog IDs:
gold-greenish = acmon: see Bill Bouton's 2008 photo
silver-bluish = lupini:  see Ken Kertell's 2009 photo

Therefore, the above should be lupine blue, like the color of the flower.  This idea has yet to be tested.

pss 06/13/14 - Wishy-washy.  I've decided this has to be acmon... small dainty dots and fresh June appearance.  Maybe the color of scales may not be reliable across locations?  For reference, lupine blue, Plebejus lupini, (Shapiro and Tenney).

20 guesses!

Huckleberry Hill
June 2, 2010

I challenge anyone to provide the posted name for this odd contraption!
OK, I'll accept one guess. Here's the answer: Wildlife Guzzler. The name made me laugh; I pictured a group of deer kicking back with a case of beer and having a party. 550 gallons is a lot, isn't it?