At this stage the planned WBA Field trip to Upper Crab Creek-Rocky Ford is still on but may be subject to cancellation if our current unhealthy/hazardous air in eastern Washington persists. The good news is that the National Weather Service is forecasting the smoke/haze to disperse on Thursday-Friday leaving Saturday to be sunny, clear of smoke and 79 degrees!
We will make a final decision on whether to proceed with the field trip on Thursday or Friday. If we proceed, we will meet at the car parking area at Rocky Ford around 10.30am. Rocky Ford is about 14 miles NE of Ritzville. Follow the E Danekas Road NE out of Ritzville for ~8 miles until you come to N Hills Rd. Turn left onto N Hills Road and follow it N for ~6 miles until you come to Rocky Ford.
Rocky Ford is a unique shrub steppe and riparian habitat managed by the BLM. Earlier visits including a WBA field trip earlier this summer (June 2) have revealed a large and diverse fauna of butterflies including some localized and threatened species (e.g. Silver-bordered fritillary, Garita Skipper). Previous trips have been made in spring and early summer so this will be our first trip to check out the late summer butterfly fauna. The Silver bordered fritillary population should be having its second flight and we will be looking for the presence of Coronis Fritillaries. We suspected (but did not confirm) the presence of Coronis in June. Coronis at Rocky Ford would represent a new County record.
If anyone else is interested in coming on this trip (and hasn’t signed up yet) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
— David James