White Cloud

Posted this on the Facebook group: “Butterflies of New York State”.

You know when you take a whole bunch of photos and then one ends up showing a Monarch in front of a white cloud and it just stands out so beautifully? Central Park, North Meadow Butterfly Gardens, NYC.

Locally extinct butterflies are fluttering again in San Francisco’s Presidio

Here’s an encouraging news story about an increase in butterflies.

The colorful variable checkerspot butterfly, missing from the park since the 1970s, is thriving there again, thanks to a project started in 2017 by wildlife managers at the Presidio Trust. 

The butterflies left the area in the mid-70s due to loss of habitat. The species’ caterpillars require  specific native plants to survive; in this case, the checkerspot’s host flora is the California bee plant and sticky monkey flower. These plants were lost as urban development crept into the park, resulting in the species’ local extinction nearly 50 years ago. 

Restoration of these plants and other coastal scrub in the park over the last 20 years created a welcoming habitat for the checkerspot, but the butterflies needed some help getting home. 

“This butterfly cannot fly very far, the caterpillars cannot crawl very far, the nearest population of these butterflies is very far away … It takes human effort to bring it back,” wildlife ecologist Jonathan Young explained in a Presidio Trust video on the project. 

More info here.

Thanks to Belle from the Bay Area for alerting me to this story.

Summer Plans

This summer, let’s go visit these old and new places for butterfly joy.

North Meadow Butterfly Garden in Central Park. My favorite frequent oasis!

The Conservatory Garden in Central Park.

Deen Slope, Central Park.

Governors Island.

Bronx Zoo

New York Botanical Garden, The Native Plant Garden.

Wave Hill in Riverdale, The Bronx.

The Beverly E. Smith Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden at the Lenoir Nature Preserve in Yonkers, NY.

Planting Fields in Oyster Bay, NY.

Old Westbury on Long Island.

And more!