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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter sun

Although air temperatures have been cool lately, it was surprisingly warm in the midday sun on 4 January 2013.  During a quick walk through a section of the Bodega Dunes Campground, I spotted a few insects basking in the winter sun:

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) on eucalyptus bark.  To see what this species looks like with its wings open, review the post from 25 November 2012.  I only saw one admiral on 4 January 2013.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) sipping from wet mud.  Note the long tapering proboscis arching down to the ground (just in front of the eye).  I saw at least 4-5 Monarchs on 4 January 2013.  For more about overwintering Monarchs, see the post from last February.

Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum).  You can read a little more about Variegated Meadowhawks in the post from 16 August 2012.  They're not common in winter, but can be seen year-round in California.  I saw two individuals on 4 January 2013.

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