Mount Sutro (4/23/2023)

Today I went on a Butterfly Walk on Mt. Sutro, courtesy of the Sutro Stewards. Well, I was there. And three other folks who also signed up. But our guide didn’t show. Turns out it was cancelled (due to fog that actually had burned off by the start time of the walk) by text, which none of us saw (as I suspect we ALL had notifications for texts from unknown numbers SILENCED).

But we four headed up to the summit and saw a couple butterflies ANYWAY!

Haven’t been there in some time. And while I’ve wanted to visit, there’s been lots of news of closed trails due to fallen trees from the ’23 winter storms on their newsletters. So their resumption (is that a word?) of guided walks seemed like an invitation to finally visit.

The summit is pretty lovely right now. Tons of California Poppies. Bursting Blueblossom. Charming Lupine. Black Sage, I think. And A TON of pollinators on all of it today! The Bumblebees particularly loved the Blueblossom and Poppies.

Patches of Menzies’ Baby Blue Eyes were a nice surprise. Cheerful Dwarf Checkermallow. That same single Firecracker Flower plant with a couple blooms. Some Douglas Iris and Sticky Cinquefoil and Spanish Bluebell.

And then I spotted my first butterfly of the day, a patrolling Anise Swallowtail. It had the whole summit to itself. Until I spotted an erratic American Lady fiercely flutter into the same meadow. These two were the only butterflies I saw at the summit. But I got good looks and some decent photos. Happy!

A Convergent Lady Beetle (I think) and a Calfiornia Scrub-Jay made appearances. Along with some Hummingbirds, one of which was doing its U Dance. And several fly-overs of Red-tailed Hawk.

Figured I’d do the Mystery Trail just to see a bit more of Mt. Sutro before heading home. Blooming California Phacelia and Fringe Cups and Red-berried Elder were nice to see. And I managed to locate one of the two calling Pacific Wrens over there! It’s such a rare occasion!!

What’s amazing is how wet those trails are. That are off the summit. SO. MUCH. SHADE. Looking forward to having them a bit drier the next time I visit.

Walked through the summit one more time before heading out, and there were no new butterflies there. So I’d seen what there was to see. Oh, and California Beeplant was also blooming, which was nice to see on my way out.

As I approached my starting point at the nursery, a Cabbage White flitted into my view. So, three butterflies total. Guess there are still many butterflies to come? Good thing I don’t need a ton of butterflies to be satisfied.

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