Thursday, October 11, 2012
Early Spring Butterflying
The first location is Schnebly Coulee. Take I-90 past Ellensburg then exit at the town of Kittitas. Pass
through town to Broadview Road. Turn right and go a short distance to S. Caribou Road. Turn left (north)
and travel to the Vantage Highway. Turn right on the Vantage Highway and travel 10-12 miles until you
come to the coulee. When there, look down and find the dry creek bed that extends down the coulee.
Walk along the creek bed and look for rhe Sheridan's Green Hairstreak (Callophrys sheridanii newcomeri).
watch closely for the Lower Green Canyon Road. Turn right onto this road and continue all the way up the canyon until you reach a T in the road. Turn left and you are now on the Reecer Creek Road. Continue on this road past all of the farms and up into the hills. When you reach the first set of meadows stop and look for the plant Stonecrop (Sedum). If you see this plant, you are in the correct spot. If not, drive to the next upper meadows and repeat. Walk the meadows and look for a small hairstreak, Moss's Elfin (Callophrys mossii schryveri). This is another one of our early spring butterflies. This area is famous for delayed snow melt. In late March the area can be free of snow, or still snowed in. Before you head out be aware of the snowpack we have had during the winter, and if we are having an early or late spring. Adjust you field day accordingly.