Grey Hairstreak Butterfly

Part way up Satus Pass in the Cascade Mountains (Washington State), Brooks Memorial Park has a small butterfly garden. Even though our travels have taken us this direction three previous times this summer, and the flowers were all in bloom, I had yet to see a single butterfly. However on our forth visit last week, I did spot a lone butterfly among the many bees and wasps.

Strymon melinusThis specimen appeared to be a Grey Hairstreak (Strymon melinus). It was intently gathering nectar from goldenrod flowers, so it didn’t mind too much that I took a couple photos.

As we continued up the Pass, we again saw some of the devastation from a 26,000 acre wildfire which scorched the area last summer. Although I don’t believe there were any major injuries as a result of this fire, I wondered how many smaller creatures, like the Grey Hairstreak, lost their lives in the blaze.

Grey Hairstreak Butterfly

Grey Hairstreak on GoldenrodDuring our stay in the the Yakima area, the distant haze was a constant reminder of wildfires still burning to the north.

Again this year everything looked very dry. The lack of rain and hot weather have not helped the situation. We were in the Yakima area during a week-long stretch where the daily average temperature was over 100º.

On the way back home, driving on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge, we went right by a wildfire that had started the night before. It was still relatively small, but the legendary Gorge winds would make fighting this fire difficult.

I snapped a quick picture through the windshield as we went by.

Columbia Gorge Fire

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8 Responses to Grey Hairstreak Butterfly

  1. Fires like that are an important part of nature but it’s tough when they threaten people. I wonder how it feels to build a butterfly garden that no butterflies visit. At least you’ve finally seen one!

  2. montucky says:

    I like the first photo a lot, not so much the last. We have fires here now on both sides of us, fortunately not close.

  3. mariekeates says:

    Great butterfly photos. They rarely stay still for me. We had a fire in the green here last year and I worried about all the butterflies and other small creatures. When you walk there now though you’d hardly know there had ever been a fire.

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