(Here’s Jeff’s final post from Alaska, maybe the most impressive for butterfly pictures! Above is a male Eversmann’s Parnassian, on Eagle Summit. – ed)
Sunday, June 16.
Today, the thought is to try for better photos – of Astarte Fritillaries, Polaris Fritillaries, Eversmann’s Parnassians and others.
When I arrive at Eagle Summit it’s slightly colder than yesterday, 51 degrees vs 52 degrees, but the sky is blue and sunny and there’s little, if any, wind. A perfect day! I wended my way to the rockslide area.
I spent about three hours amongst the rocks, trying to stand up on the steep slopes. A few Bolorian blowbys might well have been Astartes, but I didn’t see any that I was sure of. As a consolation prize, at least three Magdalena Alpines cruised the rockslides and, on a few occasions, landed close enough to me to enable reasonable photos. A Melissa Arctic landed near me and added another species to this trip.
At about 1 pm, the winds picked up considerably and I decided to call it a day. I had succeeded in obtaining identifiable photos of my three targets, Taiga Alpine, Early Arctic and Astarte Fritillary. Plus, I had the bonus butterfly, ‘Tanana’ Chryxus Arctic. Back in Fairbanks, I was able to switch my plane flights and fly out tonight. Mission accomplished – at least this part of it.