[Tweeters] Butterfly Weather

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Thu Mar 26 21:12:42 PDT 2015

Driving through Port Townsend this afternoon, I saw my first butterfly of 2015 flying about! OK, so it was "just" a Cabbage White, but still...

For a butterflier to see a Cabbage White, is like a birder seeing a Starling. Sort of. Oh, I know, we can all get a bit snarky about some of our "Invasive Species" (like ourselves), but hey it was a butterfly, and in this part of the world (a quart or three short on Butterfly diversity), any butterfly is a welcome sight - to me anyway. I hardly saw anything else here last summer, in the Butterfly Department. Just a few natives (I wasn't really trying).
Yes, the Cabbage White is an imported pest, and Port Townsend gardeners better tend to their broccoli , cabbage , mustard, etc., starts- the Cabbage White is comin' to getcha! For a small scale gardener they're not too hard to deal with.
Despite being an imported pesky bug, I must say that this butterfly provided me with a wonderful visual show a few years ago in Everett. I was down on the River Road, headed to Snohomish, and the first big ag field out of Lowell, was planted in Rapeseed - also known as Canola- about 80 or 100 acres of the stuff, and all in bloom. Canola is also a mustard family plant. Birders driving north through Everett at the time might have possibly noticed, easily visible from the freeway, this large field of flowers, about the color of All American hotdog mustard. Quite beautiful really.
Well being of the same plant family as Cabbage, the field was awash in Cabbage White butterfly's. It was late afternoon, the light low, and just so slanted as to pick out the butterflies out in the field - the most butterflies I've ever seen in one place , thousands and thousands, swirling low over the yellow blooms like a low snowstorm . Rarely inspired toward video photography myself, it would have been cool to get a telephoto shot of 80 acres of white butterflies in flight! Lacking a camera at the time, I can only say that it was a fine sight to see.
Jeff Gibsonwatching bugs inPort Townsend Wa

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