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Atlantis Fritillary --  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com



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Silver Star Mountain is a superb site for butterfly watching on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge.  It's a long hike and a steep climb, but the intrepid hiker will be rewarded with fantastic views, flower meadows, rock pits believed to be built by native Americans, and of course butterflies.  For a less strenuous trip, the roads leading to the mountain also have a good population of butterflies more adapted to lower altitudes.  

This Atlantis fritillary is happily feeding on an orange agoseris flower, posing beautifully on the diagonal and seemingly aware it has become art.  Up on Silver Star, the months of May, June, and July are best for flowers and butterflies along with August in wetter years.  This spot in the Gorge has one of the largest butterfly populations and is an excellent one to scout for ideas about wildflowers to plant at home to provide a haven for them.  A few examples of flowers that are attractive to butterflies and grow there are the Hawksbeard, Golden-Pea, Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Blue Gentian, Tiger Lily, and Aster.

Click here to see a list of plants for attracting butterflies to your garden in the Portland, Oregon area and Columbia Gorge. 

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 35mm transparency, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper

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