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2009 Field Trips and Events

Sunday, May 10
Amazon NABA Butterfly Plant Garden, Open 12-5 pm.
The NABA Butterfly Garden contains more than 45 species of native plants which are host or nectar plants for our local butterflies. To participate in the Native Plant Awareness event: tour our garden at Amazon Parkway and High Street (in front of the Amazon Community Garden). Three other community gardens and 8 private-home gardens will be available to tour. You will learn about using native plants in the landscape. For maps and info, Google: Native Plant Society Oregon Emerald.

Sunday, May 17
Mt. Pisgah Wildflower Festival
To celebrate the Spring, let's enjoy wildflowers, music, and the plant sale. When there, visit our NABA booth to dress yourself in T-shirts in a great varoety of colors. Acquire butterfly field guides in preparation for trips to the fields and mountains. Learn about the native plants to plant for local butterflies. It's a great event. See you there.

Saturday, May 30
Walkin' and Rollin' in the Wetlands
While enjoying strolling and bicycling with wetland views, you will also find learning activities for adults and children. John Hogan will be staffing our booth to talk about Monarchs. Visit our booth along the path, with your family, from 11 am - 2 pm on the Fern Ridge bike path between Danebo Ave. and Meadowlark Prairie Overlook.

Sunday, June 7
West Eugene Wetlands Butterfly Hike

Co-leaders for this hike are Rick Ahrens and Alison Center, both experts in the natural sciences. If the sun shines there will be butterflies to see and learn. Even in less favorable weather, many stories will be told, and much will be learned about our wetland areas. Exact meeting location TBA. To preregister call Ellie at 684-8973 or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Post trip notes
Rick Ahrens and Alison Center led an interested group of about 17 through the West Eugene Wetlands to learn about and enjoy the native plants, birds, and butterflies. The day was partly cloudy but warm enough for insects to be on the wing. We started from the wetlands office and took the trail through the Tsal Luk-wah "River of grass" area. Rick shared with us the names of the many native wildflowers and grasses. We observed red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures flying in the same area enabled us to see the differences between the two species in flight. We also saw a western meadowlark, lazuli buntings, red-winged blackbirds, ducklings, and heard a pheasant. The butterflies that we saw included the common (or ochre) ringlet, a tiny tailed-blue that we thought was an Eastern, field crescents, Lorquin's admirals displaying mating behaviors, and orange sulphurs. One of the orange sulphurs we saw was the "alba" or white form female; instead of being yellow and orange, she was a nearly white, pale lime green with black markings and pearly spots. We also saw a variety of native bees, damselflies, and dragonflies, including the common white-tail.

Most of us then made our way to the Nature Conservancy's Willow Creek Natural Area. Although the trail was closed to protect sensitive species, Rick had gotten special permission from TNC for us to walk through. The sun came out for this portion of the tour. We were again treated to the sight and song of lazuli buntings and western meadowlarks. We also observed a kestrel and spotted towhee, and listened to the lovely songs of thrushes. The meadow was filled with bright, courting field crescents. The field crescents varied in appearance, some having more orange and some with more yellow, and some looking brighter altogether. We saw western tiger swallowtails, ochre ringlets, and more Lorquin's admirals. We looked at various moths (including snout moths) to see the differences between moths and butterflies. One stunning example that we saw was the cinnabar moth, a brilliant scarlet and black day-flying moth, that is a biocontrol for tansy ragwort. We checked the Kincaid's lupine for Fender's blue butterflies but did not see any; it was probably too late in the season for them. After a good afternoon of enjoying the wetlands, we called it a day.
Summary by Alison Center

West Eugene Wetlands, June 7, 2009 - photos by Dennis Galloway


Sunday, June 14
Tire Mountain
Jim Mitchell, naturalist and science teacher will guide us to an area of beautiful, bountiful flowers and butterfly meadows. This trip is always a highlight, due to its exceptional flowers. We will meet at the Campbell Senior Center parking lot (155 High St., Eugene) at 9:00 am. Please pre-register by calling Ellie at 684-8973 or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Post trip notes
This trip lead by Jim Mitchell included 15 participants including several new to the butterfly adventures. Jim, with Rick Ahrens and Dave Hagan helped all participants to see the butterflies close up through net and release practices.

Tire Mountain is a botanical paradise with every possible host plant available. Two inches of rain had fallen on Saturday evening leaving the trail muddy in spots but the flowers fresh and gleaming with drops. The path begins in old growth forest with understory shade plants from Fairy bells to Vanilla Leaf and a diverse shrubs like Vine Maple, and Red flowering Currant in bloom. Due to overcast cloudy conditions it was still chilly ~55 degrees when we reached the first meadow where only bees were flying. The temperature would rise into upper 60s when the sun came out. Certainly this was warm enough for some flying butterflies but never the hot temperatures that butterflies prefer.

There are a series of steep meadows which provide the best Butterfly habitat. Many butterfly favorite plants were in bloom: Lotus, Rosy Plectritus, Buckwheat, Bluemary, Lomatiums, Balsamroot, Camas, Bleeding Heart, Yellow Violets, etc. We ended our trip at the largest meadow where we had a pleasant lunch, conversation and ongoing butterfly observation.

Nine species of Butterflies were recorded: Brown Elfin, Spotted Blue, Blue Azure, Western Tailed Blue, Western Tiger Swallowtail (lower elevations), Pale Swallowtail, Anise Swallowtail, Margined (or Mustard) White, and many Pacific Fritillaries. Other sightings of interest included a Hawkmoth with orange underwings. Rick Ahrens identified calls of the Olive-sided flycatcher and Red breasted nuthatch. A Red tailed hawk, White-crowned sparrow, and ravens were seen.
Click here for a set of field trip photos by Dennis Galloway


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Tire Mountain, June 14, 2009 - #2 The White-banded Black Moth (Rheumaptera subhastata), #3 & #4 The Pacific Dotted Blue (Euphilotes enoptes enoptes), #5 Mountain Cats' Ear (Calochortus subalpinus), #6 Mating Euphilotes e. enoptes. First 5 photos by Ingrid Ford, last photo by Dave Hagen


Saturday, June 20
Corvallis Butterfly Trip to Fitton Green

This new trip to Fitton Green will be led by Gary Pearson, a long time collector and butterfly expert. Expect to see a good variety of Spring and early Summer butterflies and perhaps a few fritillaries. We will meet at the Campbell Senior Center parking lot (155 High St., Eugene) at 9:00 am. Please pre-register. Call Ellie at 684-8973 or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Post trip notes
Fitton Green is a nature reserve/parkland actively managed by Benton County Parks. There is a continuous biking/hiking trail between this park and several others including Baldy Hill Park and McDonald State Forest. Fitton Green environments include a high prairie land , mostly sunny and dry, but with some wet areas and seeps. It has areas of oak woodland and forest of Douglas Fir and under story shrubs. Randy Comeleo noted that we saw only 1/4 of the park as a trail extends from the high prairie to Mary's River some 500 feet below where most of the park is located.

Our valiant band of 10 Eugene participants joined 3 Corvallis nature lovers for Butterfly searching. The sky and weather were not in our favor with temperatures mostly in the mid 50s with overcast sky, menacing dark clouds nearby, and a cold breeze on the heights. When a clearing sky opened a bit of sun, butterflies began to arrive , but too soon again the heavy clouds and chill returned. That moment of optimism indicated the great potential of Fitton Green as a Butterfly site on a truly warm day. Lovely views of the Willamette Valley and the whole Coast Range are possible from the prairie summit.

Events of the day - Butterfly Sightings:
Gary Pearson, our leader, quickly observed caterpillars on numerous Canadian thistles. From photos in Pyle's book, he identified the caterpillars as Painted Ladies. 'Rick Ahrens and others, reported the abundance of Northward migration of Painted Ladies which occurred about 3 weeks to a month ago: hence the likely source of these developing caterpillars. Ingrid Ford agreed to rear at home some of these caterpillars to confirm our identification. We look forward to her results. Despite the cold Painted Ladies (10-12) were flying. We had a good opportunity to view the camouflage of the Painted Ladies as they disappeared from view when the ventral surface only was visible. Any butterfly seen was immobilized by the cold and hence good subjects for photographers Ingrid and Donald.

In addition to the Ladies we saw:
One Sulphur (probably Orange Sulphur)
Ochre Ringlets (at least 8)
Propertius Duskywings (3) in oak woodland area
Hence about 4 species of butterflies and about 24 individuals.

Butterfly-related Topics Discussed included:
Research on Johnson's Hairstreak. Gary's research for the Forest Service to search for Johnson's Hairstreak and its specific host plant Mistletoe on Hemlock. Gary has begun his search for the Hairstreak and its plant on Lane Co. quadrants identified as highly likely. The mistletoe looks like a gray fungus.
Taylor's Checkerspot - A rare butterfly found in Benton Co. Gary found both English plantain and strawberries together here in the prairie land , leading to a discussion of Taylor's Checkerspot, its habitat needs and rarity in 2 spots close to Fitton Green . Flight time of the Checkerspot is late April to early May.
Likely function of Hairstreaks. Jo Van Hipple's questions about the function of the Hairstreak lead to a discussion by Gary of bird pecks often found near the false eyespots and hairstreak (antenna mimics) of the Hairstreak butterflies.

Other Insects Observed and Identified:
Given the weather, butterflies were scarce, but Rick Ahrens, Donald Gudehus and others found a variety of insects. These were often photographed Including: Minor Cicada, Yellow-faced Bumblebee, Klamath Weed Beetle, Snout Beetle (a weevil), Meadow Spittlebug adults, Bee Mimic a Fly heavy bodied with yellow, Cucumber beetle, marking on upper thorax, Rose Leaf Gall, Beautiful Tan Moth - very hairy - Nadata oregonensis (Butler, 1881) Family Notodontidae.

Flowering Plants:
Art Souther, Ingrid, Ellie, Pam and others identified many of the plants in the meadow which was well planted. The meadow was burned in recent years. Plants included:
Gairdners Yampah (Perideridia gardneir). This parsley family member was, as Rick reported, called biscuit rood and was used by Native Americans for food.
Checkermallow Host plant (HP) and nectar plant (NP)
Clarkia possibly C. gracilis, called Slender Clarkia
Dogbane excellent nectar plant (NP) especially for Fritillaries
Yarrow (NP)
Oregon Sunshine (NP)
English Daisy (NP) not native
Canadian Thistle NP and HP but nonnative
Cluster Lily (Dichelostemma congestum formerly Brodiaea)
Another purple lily Brodiaea?
Also seen: Gamble's Oak, Willows, Douglas Fir.
Surprisingly there were no lupines, lotus or other pea plants seen.

Birds Seen or Heard:
Swainson's Thrush, Orange-crowned warbler, Lazuli Bunting, Vesper Sparrow, Western Tanager - courtesty of Rick Ahrens

Pam and Randy Comeleo our Corvallis NABA members have acted as hosts today for this trip , providing directions to Fitton Green. As a consequence all of us have expanded our range to learn about some wonderful habitat and hiking territory in Corvallis. We hope next year to plan another Corvallis-based trip.
Summary by Ellie Ryan


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Fitton Green, June 20, 2009 - #2 The Minor Cicada (Platypedia minor), #3 Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea elegans), #6 Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris), #7 The Propertius Duskywing (Erynnis propertius), #8 The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Photos by Ingrid Ford


Sunday, June 28
Fourth of July Butterfly Count for Eugene/Springfield
The first of our two butterfly counts will be led by Eugene NABA officers Donald Gudehus and Ellie Ryan. The count teams will explore for butterflies in Mt. Pisgah, the West Eugene Wetlands, Spencer's Butte, and more. All are welcome to participate in the count. Experts will be available in each group. Beginners are encouraged to join this learning experience in butterfly identification, while enjoying good company. We'll meet at the Campbell Senior Center parking lot (155 High St., Eugene) at 9:00 am. There is a $3 fee for participants to support conservation activities of National NABA. Please pre-register by calling Ellie at 684-8973, or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 8 - 11 am - 1:30ish pm
Special Event: Briggs Restoration Site Picnic

The Nature Conservancy has invited us to view the flowering meadow at the Briggs Farm. Many of us planted there in wet cold weather: now is the reward to see our efforts glorified in flowering plants, and likely, butterflies. Come and bring your picnic lunch. We will identify both flowering plants and the flying butterflies. As before we will arrange car shuttles TBA. Please RSVP and pre-register with Ellie at 684-8973, or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com. Click here for a set of event photos by Dennis Galloway

Saturday, July 11
Fairview Peak

NABA officers will join together to lead a trip to this stunning location, one of Oregon's hot spots for butterflies. High butterfly diversity, beautiful wildflower displays and grand mountain views will combine to produce an exceptional trip. We'll meet at the Camplell Senior Center (155 High Street, Eugene) at 9:00 am. Space is limited to 18 people. Pre-registration is required. Call Ellie Ryan at 541-684-8973 or email hear at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Post trip notes
Fairview Peak , a site from the old Casades has a compelling view of its sister mountain, Bohemia and all beyond. On Saturday there was sunshine and 70+ degrees with a breeze while we 17 butterfliers explored for butterflies. Despite being July the season's flowers are still developing here at 5,500 feet, with Lupine, and asters mostly not yet in flower. My impression was that many species were still represented by males only searching for mates, as often butterflies were whizzing by and less often nectaring or searching for flowers. The Blues were an exception to this as they come earlier and several females were caught. Checkerspots were nectaring frequently so checking for the "edith's line" was possible. Of the 54 species found both here and on Boehmia Mt., we found 24 on Saturday.

We instituted this trip using NABA Officers as joint leaders which had the effect of dividing us into smaller groups often focused around the Netters David and Kurt . As butterflies were captured, people would gather to view up-close the butterfly perfection of color. Groups then dispersed with all searching for butterfly discoveries, photographs or plant identification. Each individual added to the interest and knowledge of all. There was a great spirit of cooperation. Donald, David, Lois, Ellie, and Ingrid helped us to identify butterflies, while Lori, Jamie, and Sue added greatly to our knowledge of plants. Lori found the only caterpillar which Donald quickly captured on his camera. We hope to send this picture forth to have plant and caterpillar identified. We were glad to welcome some new butterfly enthusiasts. Here are the Butterflies we saw and identified. This site will still be good probably for two more weeks with other butterflies still to be seen. Warmly Ellie

Butterfly Counts - Fairview Peak, Saturday 7/11/09
Composed by Lois Hagen with additions from second group by Ellie
  1. Clodius Parnassian 40+
  2. Anise Swallowtail 3
  3. Pale Swallowtail 5
  4. Western Tiger Swallowtail 1
  5. Mustard White 1
  6. Sara's Orangetip 15
  7. Orange Sulphur 8
  8. Mariposa Copper 1
  9. Lilac-Bordered Copper 1
10. Spring Azure 10
11. Silvery Blue 40+
12. Boisduval's Blue 25+
13. Greenish Blue 1
14. Acmon Blue 1
15. Hydaspe Fritillary 8
16. Hoffman's Checkerspot 30+
17. Chalcedona Checkerspot 40+
18. Edith's Checkerspot 20+
19. Oreas Comma 1 (we double checked with other books at home, and are confident on this)
20. CA Tortoiseshell 100+ (these seemed the most prominent buterfly)
21. Painted Lady 20
22. Lorquin's Admiral 6
23. Propertius Duskywing 3
24. Western Tailed Blue 1

Click here for a set of field trip photos by Dennis Galloway


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Fairview Peak, July 11, 2009 - #1 Lilac-bordered Copper - male (Lycaena nivalis nivalis), #2 California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica), #3 Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), #4 Painted Lady - underside, #5 Hoffman's Checkerspots (Chlosyne hoffmanni segregata), #6 Hoffman's Checkerspot - male, #7 Hoffman's Checkerspot - female, #8 Chalcedona Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona colon), #9 Edith's Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha colonia), #10 Edith's Checkerspot - underside, note the editha line, #11 Spring Azure - female (Celastrina echo echo aka Celastrina argiolus echo), #12 Spring Azure - underside, #13 Silvery Blue - female (Glaucopsyche lygdamus columbia), #14 Silvery Blue - underside, #15 Boisduval's Blue - male (Plebejus icarioides icarioides), #16 Boisduval's Blue - male underside, #17 Boisduval's Blue - female, #18 Boisduval's Blue - female underside, #19 Acmon Blue (Plebejus acmon acmon), #20 Unidentified caterpillar, #21 Clodius Parnassian (Parnassius clodius claudianus), #22 Clodius Parnassian - female, underside, #23 Shadowy Arches Moth (Drasteria adumbrata aka Synedoida adumbrata saxea), #24 Unidentified grasshopper. Photo #19 by Sue Mandeville, others by Donald Gudehus.


Saturday, July 25 - NOTE CHANGE IN DATE
Fourth of July Butterfly Count at Browder Ridge

Our annual count in the meadows of the central Cascades each year finds almost 40 species and hundreds of individual butterflies. Two teams will visit a number of sites with trails ranging from moderately difficult to easy depending on your choice of team. All are welcome to participate in learning about buterfly identification while enjoying good company. Meet at the Campbell Senior Center parking lot (155 High Street, Eugene) at 8:00 am. There is a $3 fee to participate which supports NABA's national advocacy for butterflies. To pre-register call Ellie at 684-8973 or email her at woodnymph3000@gmail.com.

Click here for a set of field trip photos by Dennis Galloway


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Iron Mt., July 25, 2009 - #1 to #4 Various Trip Participants, #5 Northern Blue (Plebejus anna_ricei) - female, #6 Northern Blue - in copula, #7 Flax (Linum perenne), #8 Lilac-bordered Copper (Lycaena n. nivalis) - male, #9 Lilac-bordered Copper - in copula, #10 Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini itelkae), #11 Lily, #12 Chalcedona Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona colon), #13 Chalcedona Checkerspot, #14 Western Branded Skipper (Hesperia colorado oregonia), #15 Paresitized caterpillar, #16 Elegant Sheep Moth (Hemileuca eglanterina), #17 Edith's Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha colonia), #18 Boisduval's Blue (Plebejus i. icarioides) - female. Photos #1, #2, #4, #6 to #9, #14 by Ingrid Ford, #17 and #18 by Lori Humphreys, others by Donald Gudehus.


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Frissell Ridge Route, July 25, 2009 - #1 Mariposa Copper, #2 Juba Skippers - in copula, #3 Chalcedona Checkerspot, #4 Blue Copper - male, #5 Northern Checkerspot. Photos by Yvonne Parkinson.

Important Note to Field Trip Participants

Field trips may take place in rough or slippery terrain, so proper dress and footwear are essential. NABA field trips may be strenuous or hazardous. Participation is at your own risk. Be prepared to sign a release form indicating this. You can view a sample copy of the release form (PDF format*). All NABA field trips are open to the public, and newcomers and visitors are always welcome. If registering by email, please include your name and phone number in the email message.

All field trip leaders are expected to follow the NABA-ES field trip guidelines.


Past Field Trips
Field Trips in 2005
Field Trips in 2006
Field Trips in 2007
Field Trips in 2008

*In order to view PDF files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. You can download it for free.



Page design: Donald Gudehus.

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