Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the June 14, 2009 Newsletter, issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of Grants Pass, Oregon:

A few minutes later yet another butterfly species I'd not seen fluttered by. Its manner of landing seemed to be to haphazardly plunge onto any kind of spot, then hang there any way other than straight. Once he crashed into some grass blades and just hung suspended at an odd angle for half a minute or so. He acted drunk or confused, but butterfly brains aren't complex enough to get drunk or confused the way we think of it, and I don't know whether this was typical behavior. You can see this curious being above.

The picture answers to my field guide's illustration of the Northwest Ringlet, COENONYMPHA AMPELOS, found in many kinds of grassy habitats, from mountain forests to vacant lots, for its caterpillar eats grasses. The species is distributed from British Columbia to here and northern Nevada.