Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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Events

The Central Arizona Butterfly Association has a wonderful line-up of Meetings and Events for the upcoming year. Please check this page regularly for up-dates.

Note: for all field trips: Beginners are welcome on all field trips. A donation of $5 per person to benefit CAzBA will be appreciated. Leaders donate their time and expertise. High clearance vehicles may be required for some trips. Dress for the field with sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen; bring water, snacks, lunch, close-focus binoculars, camera, and field guides. Trips usually end mid-afternoon unless noted differently above. Please remember that no collecting is allowed on CAzBA field trips."

"Gas money: It’s kind to share gas expenses. Please be generous with your contribution to the driver!"

Upcoming events

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6/16/2018      Field trip Tonto Fish Hatchery with Laura Miller

In June/July, butterflying can be good along Tonto Creek, elevation 6000’ – 6500’, in the Mongollon Rim area and it doesn’t require a high-clearance vehicle. There are several places to stop along the 3 mile road up to the Tonto Fish Hatchery. Temperatures in the high 70’s will beat the Valley’s summer heat. Important nectarplants are: AZ Thistle, Butterfly Weed, Buckbrush, Watercress, Bergamot, Dogbane. A total of 36 species were seen here in July a few summers ago, with as highlights: Sylvan Hairstreak, Common Wood-Nymph, Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur. (Red-spotted Purple pictured) Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sacklunch. A pair of binoculars will be handy too. Trip leader: Laura Miller: lmiller133@cox.net. Meeting place: Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 7 am. We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

7/14/2018      Field trip: East Clear Creek with Laura Miller and Ariel M

On Saturday July 14th, we will explore East Clear Creek above the Mongollon Rim. Because of the high elevation (8000 feet), this canyon is best visited between mid-April and mid-October. It can be reached by taking a 6 mile dirt road off of Hwy 87, about 9 miles north of Clint’s Well. We will park the car where the road crosses the creek, and explore East Clear Creek and one of its tributaries. Key species for this area are: Nokomis Fritillary, Afranius Duskywing, Long Dash and Northern Crescent (pictured). Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sacklunch. A pair of binoculars will be handy too. Trip leader: Laura Miller. Meeting place: Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30 am. We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

8/18/2018      Moth Night at Hassayampa River Preserve with insect expert Margarethe Brummermann

Join CAzBA at the Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg for Moth Night. After a PowerPoint presentation on insects, Margarethe will set up white sheets illuminated by mercury-vapor lights that will attract all kinds of insects. We'll have plenty opportunity to photograph and observe moths, lace-wings, arthropods, scorpions and more, and we will help you ID them. Judging by our prior Moth Nights, you can expect an event that will be great fun for families, kids, entomologists and photographers - just about everyone who enjoys a little adventure outdoors and after dark. Please wear closed-toe shoes and bring a flashlight or headlamp. A $5 donation will be appreciated. read more »

8/25/2018      Field trip: Colonel Devin Trail with Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday August 25th, we will hike a part of the Arizona Trail which, over the years, has become one of the favorite outings for several of us. This time we will visit the Col. Devin Trail later in the season, so we can expect to find slightly different species of butterflies. A visit during this time of year last year, revealed about 30 species, including several individuals of Red-bordered Satyrs, a species we never find during our June visits. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water, snacks and a sacklunch. A pair of close focusing binoculars will be handy too. The trail is moderately steep in places, but we will take our time. Trip leader: Marceline VandeWater. Meeting place is Denny’s on Shea Blvd in Fountain Hills at 6:30am or at the trailhead at 8:15am. Details to get to the trailhead: Drive to Payson, go straight at the hwy 260 intersection. After 3/4 mile turn right onto Houston Mesa Road. Cross all 3 "water crossings", and after about 8 miles turn left at the stop sign. The road now turns into a dirt road. After about 1 miles turn right towards Shadow Rim Camp and Washington Park Trailhead. Follow this road up for about 5.5 miles until the right turn-off to the Washington Park Trailhead (marked). Turn right here, and instantly turn left (signs again) and you will find the trailhead well marked. Please contact Marceline VandeWater to let her know where you will meet: marceline@ermaroni.net We ask for a $5 donation per person. read more »

9/8/2018      12th Annual Butterfly Count at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Please consider joining us at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on Saturday September 8th as we tackle our 12th Annual Butterfly Count. Counting starts at 8:30AM sharp, so arrive a little early. Meeting place: visitor center of Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The total count circle has a 15 mile diameter and we will conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within that circle. Volunteer participants will be assigned to a leader and will be working a part of the count circle area. For lunch we will get together at Jade Grill restaurant in Superior (or you can bring your own lunch). Here we will exchange findings & information. 79 species of butterflies appear on the Arboretum's checklist, while the record for most species observed in a single day is 44 by Marceline VandeWater during the same count in 2011! Xami Hairstreak is one of specialties that has been found in the past at the BTA. The Arboretum is located on US 60, about 20 miles east of Apache Junction. If you have any questions, please contact compiler Dr. Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net. Hope you can join us! read more »

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Recent events

5/12/2018      Garden Talk & Tour with Gail Morris POSTPONED to MAY 12

Summer is right around the corner but it’s not too late to think about your fall butterfly garden. Fall is the premier butterfly season so let’s talk about the best practices to not only help your garden survive but even thrive this summer. Our discussion will include easy to grow host and nectar plants as well as garden care. Get ready for our summer monsoon and plant seeds so they’ll bloom just in time for the fall butterfly frenzy! We’ll have handouts plus easy to grow seeds and some host plants for you to take home, too. We’ll meet at Gail Morris’s house in Chandler for today’s meeting, so be ready to be outside in the garden. Please email Gail for more information or directions: gail-marie@cox.net read more »

4/14/2018      Field trip: Rackensack Canyon with Janet Witzeman

Meet at 8:30 A.M. at the southeast corner of the junction of the Cave Creek Road and the road turning off to Bartlett Dam (about 8 miles East of Carefree). Bring a lunch, water, and close focus binoculars. On a butterfly trip to this area in the same month 4 years ago, we recorded 28 species of butterflies, including the amazing Yucca Giant-Skipper. We will also pay attention to the wildflowers, with checklist provided...Difficulty: moderate (no real trails, rocky creek bed). For questions, please email Janet Witzeman at jlwitzeman@aol.com We ask for a $5 donati read more »

4/7/2018      McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's second Spring Butterfly Count and training session

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy will be conducting its second Spring Butterfly Count on April 7, and is looking for volunteers. (A complementary trainings session will be held at the Mustang Library in Scottsdale on April 3rd, 6pm-7:30pm). Please save these dates and email us at the Preserve for more information: plantmonitor@mcdowellsonoran.org read more »

3/24/2018      Field trip: Butterflies along the Beeline Highway with Ron Rutowski

Spring starts early in the Upper Sonoran Desert. By March many wildflowers are in bloom and on warm days the spring butterflies – Orangetips, Marbles, Spring Azures, Variable Checkerspots, etc. - are out in force. This month the CAzBA field trip is to Round Valley in the Mazatzal Mountains, just at the upper elevational limit of the Sonoran Desert. Here, there is stream-side riparian vegetation, stands of mesquite on the flood plain, and hillsides dotted with cacti and annual wildflowers, all of which makes for a rich and accessible butterfly community. This area is about 50 miles from Phoenix where the Beeline highway crosses Sycamore Creek, right before the road climbs to Sunflower Valley. We will explore a side drainage of Sycamore Creek where Variable Checkerspots and Empress Leilia will be common. After that, we will drive up to Sunflower and walk on the "old" Beeline to the ranger station. At the ranger station, we will sit down at the picnic tables for lunch. Sagebrush Checkerspot (pictured) and Zela Metalmark are some of the regulars there. Please gather at the Denny's on Shea Blvd. in Fountain Hills at 8:30AM. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, snacks/lunch and close focus binoculars. For questions, please email Ron Rutowski at rrutowski@cox.net. We ask for a $5 donation. read more »

2/10/2018      Butterfly exhibition, conservation and research at Desert Botanical Garden

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden and learn about their work on butterflies. Staff from the Garden will talk about their seasonal Butterfly Exhibit, the work they are doing for monarch butterfly conservation, and research on native butterfly species. We will tour the Spring Butterfly Exhibit before it is open to the public. Presenters: Dr. Kim Pegram, Insect Ecologist and Exhibit Specialist; Lauren Svorinic, Assistant Director of Exhibits; Natalie Melkonoff, Plant and Insect Ecology Assistant read more »