I suspect that this was picked up with a load of Marigolds from west Petaluma.
I didn't get it in my pictures, but the color has a dusting of purple over the dark sienna background.
Great day for larvae on the creek trail: most of the stages(or instars if you will) were easily found.
I've always better luck finding these lovely caterpillars at the end of the season; a nice reminder that the fading California summer will soon brighten into our long spring.
Lepidopterans seen on this 20 x 30 ft. patch today in a 20 minute visit: Purplish Coppers, Sandhill Skippers, Mylitta Crescents, Grey Hairstreaks, West Coast Ladies, Common Checkered Skippers, Buckeyes and Cabbage Whites.
Not to give the wrong impression of this neglected end of the creek path; as species elsewhere were quite sparse. This nice bit of goldenrod is a nectaring oasis on the several miles of trail west of Willowside Road. Elsewhere mustards, sow thistle, sweet fennel and wild radish predominate.
These two seemed trying to reach an understanding; then lit side-by-side on adjacent blossoms-- I presume for a snack.
Seldom seen up here this year.
Dozens of these congregating on a small flower patch; along with buckeyes, west coast ladies, mylitta crescents, purplish coppers, grey hairstreaks and common checkered skippers.
Groups of 5-10 would form little mobs fluttering frantically in a tight radius for a good part of a minute before disbursing.
Joining the much larger European Hoverflies on the white zinnias were a few of these.
These deferred in every case to the nectaring fiery skippers and their larger cousins, darting about restlessly until a flower was free.
While their large cousins rocked up and down while feeding, these stood immobile on the flower.
A Sandhill Skipper? Never seen one up here; certainly harder to tell with older individuals...
Underneath a shelf in my quiet garage. Chaotic web; but full of dead spiders.
What's it doing with the egg-mass?
Mystery oak gall, soft and spongy, on leather oak. Pepperwood Preserve near Dwight Center.