California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica): This freshly emerged California Tortoiseshell never stopped pumping its wings for a decent photo. The brightly colored dorsal (upper) side of the wings is opposite to their ventral (under) side, which looks more like a dead leaf. These amazing butterflies are among the first butterflies we see if the late winter / early spring (as early as March). The new generation emerges in late July and August here in MT. They do a short “summer hibernation” soon after emerging and become active again in the late summer and fall. They will then head into their winter hibernation and begin flying once the weather warms up in March or April. This individual butterfly can therefore have a lifespan of 9 to 10 months. Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 8/12/18 near Clinton, MT.