Monday, August 13, 2012

'Going Up The Country'...Sort of

Yep, even living in Montana, one needs to leave the city and get away; check out (link above) a 60's band 'Canned Heat' singing the theme via Spotify (timeless message :-). My reason includes wildlife watching. Today, went to State School Trust Land southeast of Stevensville, Montana in hopes of finding loads of skippers nectaring on the flowering sagebrush species in montane sagebrush steppe. Video'd the drive in...try humming Canned Heat as you watch:

Here's a still shot of the habitat:
Montane Sagebrush Steppe

Within minutes of entering sagebrush stand noted Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa) nectaring:
Melissa Blue

Climbing the slope encountered scattered skippers (photo below); all seemed to id out to the 'Branded skipper complex', Hesperia comma/colorado. Can you decide?
Branded Skipper 'complex'

Unexpectedly this beautiful butterfly came into my path, Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus)...only the second time I've seen this insect.
Coral Hairstreak
'Go up the country' in your neck of the woods; there's still good butterflying to be had.