western brown elfin
Callophrys augustinus (aka Incisalia augustinus iroides)
I followed a tiny dark shadow through the CA buckwheat patch. In the bright sunlight, I wondered if it might be a hairstreak, like the mountain mahogany or hedgerow. Nope. It was so dark, the flash even went off in the second pic, highlighting the Impressionist painting vibe I get under certain lighting conditions. It surprised me that it's on the wing now, since I last saw brown elfins at Pinnacles in early March. This one looks pretty fresh, except for the huge bite out of its left wings - that's probably why I was able to approach it several times to take pictures. This must be a second generation. Let's see if there'll be a third, or even a fourth generation this year.