First Butterfly

Dennis K Rockwell denniskrockwell at juno.com
Thu Apr 13 08:47:25 PDT 2000


Benton County owns approximately 700 acres of shrub-steppe and raparian
habitat (dedicated to park use) on the north bank of the Yakima River
along a seven mile stretch between Richland and Benton City which
includes Horn Rapids.  Much of this property is bordered on the north by
the Arid Land Ecology Reserve and the Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area and
on the south (across the Yakima River) by the Barker Ranch of recent
INDIGO BUNTING fame.  This is the only place I am aware of where you can
stand, as I did yesterday, and simutaniously hear LONG-BILLED CURLEWS and
CHUKAR calling.
The county is currently developing a small public campgrounds just west
of The Horn on the site of the old Columbia Prison Camp.  Wind erosion is
always a threat anytime you disturb the soil in this part of the world
and so the developer applies water.  I was happily surprised to discover
dozens of WESTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAILS flocking to this dampened soil. 
Seems somewhat early for them here, but then it was a mild winter and
it's been a warm spring so far.

Dennis K Rockwell, Kennewick, Washington       denniskrockwell at juno.com

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