Saturday, September 17, 2011

common ringlet ~ 09/17/11 ~ Wilder Ranch

It's not unusual for me to see ringlets, nor is it unusual to see coyote brush. However, it is unusual to see coyote brush literally covered in ringlets. These butterflies were skittish and flew away from me as soon as my camera dinged when I turned it on (it makes me wonder about butterfly sensory of sound). The best I could do is capture 5 butterflies in the last picture, but I would guess there were upwards of 50 butterflies on this single bush. Interesting to note, I kept my eye out for every coyote brush after this encounter, and not a single one had a ringlet on it. Art Shapiro states on his website, "The second brood emerges in May-June, enters reproductive diapause and estivates until September-October, when it reemerges to breed." Yep, you read that right. Perhaps in other places animals reduce their activity during harsh winter months, but here in CA the summer can be equally harsh. I guess it's now the season of love for these nondescript smallish butterflies.


Imperfect and tense said...

OK, when I woke up this morning, here's a phrase I didn't think I was going to type at some point in the day,

Lady, you need to turn your Ding off!

Just the one shrub with Ringlets? Is it where they... what was that word... estivate? Or perhaps it was the only bush in full sun and out of a breeze?

GretchenJoanna said...

The challenges of nature photography well described! At least you skillfully used words to put the image of a profusion of ringlets into our minds. "Ringlets on coyote brush" is awfully poetic, I think. Thank you!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Graeme, thanks for the laugh. I did wonder if that one shrub was where they hid out during July and August. It was down a slight hill, so maybe there was some protection from the breeze, which is a constant here near the ocean.

Gretchen, thank you for the compliment.