Spend time with butterflies this week

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By Special to the Monitor

On Wednesday, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will offer a butterfly identification class taught by butterfly expert Steve Cary.  

Attendees at the PEEC Annual Dinner in 2007 will remember Cary’s talk and slides of butterflies of New Mexico.  In the class, participants will learn to identify local butterflies.

The class is especially helpful to those interested in participating in the 16th annual Los Alamos Butterfly Count. The class will begin at 7 p.m. The fee is $8 for PEEC members, $10 for nonmembers. Call PEEC at 662-0460 to sign up or www.PajaritoEEC.org.

The 16th Annual Los Alamos Butterfly count will be held Saturday.

Three different habitats will    be  counted. They include Burnt Mesa in Bandelier

at the pinyon-ponderosa interface, Canon de Valle along N.M. 501 (West Jemez Road) in a ponderosa canyon, and Camp May in a high altitude meadow.  Butterfly expert Steve Cary will identify the butterflies.  

The count is a wonderful opportunity to see local butterflies in person. The data is sent to Bandelier National Monument and to the North American Butterfly Association.  

The charge is $5 per person older than age 12 for inclusion in the NABA annual report.  For information, contact Dorothy Hoard at 662-2662 or dorothyh@swcp.com.

No experience required.

Participants can come and go as they wish. Participants are welcome to bring close-focusing binoculars.

If interested

enough to buy a field guide, PEEC uses Jeffery Glassberg’s “Butterflies through Binocular – THE WEST.”

 It is available through on-line bookstores like Amazon or Borders.  The Kaufman’s “Field Guide to Butterflies of North America,” available at Otowi Station in Los Alamos, is also an excellent book and it covers the entire continent.

Now available at PEEC is Stephen Fettig’s “Checklist of Butterflies of

Bandelier, Valles Caldera National Preserve, and nearby areas of the southern Jemez Mountains.” The book costs $1.50 plain, $2 laminated (made possible

by a grant from the National Parks Foundation.)

Hoard will be at PEEC at 8:30 a.m. if anyone wants to carpool.  

Burnt Mesa is on N.M. 4 about 2 miles east (downhill) from Ponderosa

Campground, which is at the intersection of SR4 and SR501 (West Jemez Road).  

The parking area is on the right hand side of the road when

heading east toward the entrance to Bandelier.  

PEEC staff usually arrive about 10:30 a.m. Canon de Valle is on N.M. 501 (West Jemez

Road); there is a primitive parking area on the right hand side of the road 1.5-2 miles beyond the Camp May turnoff.  

Camp May is up the dirt

road at the west end of the Pajarito Mountain ski area parking lot. Lunch will be eaten at the shelter and the count will begin between 12:30- 1 p.m.