IBCM V - Irvine Ranch
Day 2 of the California IBCM workshop included a visit to the Irvine Ranch preserve. It's a huge parcel- over 50,000 acres of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak savanna and riparian habitats. As someone who has done land management for many years at Bluff Spring Fen, I was very impressed at the stewardship of a site roughly 500 times the size of the Fen. Although there no endangered butterfly species currently occupy the site, it does represent a spot with the potential for restoration of on or more species.
Although we did not see endangered butterflies on this site, the weather was near-perfect, sunny and in the 70s. We saw lots of other butterfly species, and I even managed to photograph a few. The ringlet, orangetip, and blue are all species that I associate with springtime in coastal southern California. I wish I had been able to get a better shot of the orangetip. That species is very uncooperative as a photo subject.
We tried bating with a tiny katydid to entice the spider to show, but had no luck
The entire hike was about 4 miles. I spent that part of the day in warm sunshine surrounded by beautiful scenery and valued colleagues. What more can one ask for in a day's work?