North American Butterfly Association
Chugach State Park, McHugh Creek (61.01715° N, 149.73381° W)
Anchorage Municipality, AK
Sunny with scattered clouds, breezy and temperature at about 52° from 2:46 to 5pm. I focused on the rocky hillside with wooded trails that faces Cook Inlet just west of the parking areas as it receives ample sun throughout the day. Pollen sources were plentiful with lots of wildflowers, including dandelions, lupine, and various small yellow, white, and purple flowers including some early violets. Several small white butterflies and a little blue were seen in addition to those reported. The whites would not stop long enough for photos that would confirm their identification. The date alone, so early in the season here in Alaska, strongly suggests Large Marble and they did have dark markings on the apical and sub-apical areas of the forewings. Western White is a less likely possibility since it’s probably a couple of weeks too early still, but I’m uncomfortable ruling it out entirely without photos. As for the blue, it was almost certainly a Northern Spring Azure based again on the early date. My view was fleeting, though, and it was in an open grassy area with large rocks near woods which could be good habitat for other blue species too. As with the whites, I’ll leave it unidentified and try again within the next week (weather permitting).
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