While passing through a creek bottom that is mostly dry this time of year, I spotted a monarch butterfly and got out of my truck to photograph it. It fluttered about and eventually I lost track of it – no photo.
Distracted by a California ground squirrel that fed at my feet, I photographed what was available – the squirrel.
While returning to the truck, the monarch appeared again and I followed it until it landed on a plant – apparently the same species of plant that it had lit on before. I snapped a few quick photos before the butterfly disappeared again. I theorized that the plant was a milkweed.
When I returned home I looked up the plant. Sure enough it is called “narrow leaf milkweed.” According to an internet source, there are fourteen species of milkweed in California.
Later I found out that the narrow-leaf milkweed is also called whorled leaf milkweed and they are a host plant for monarch butterfly larvae.
Click on photos to enlarge.