You may have noticed a fair number of medium sized orange butterflies passing through your area (that is, if you live in California) recently. I saw my first wave of the 2009 painted lady migration around noon on March 24 as I was driving through the streets of Mission Viejo. The butterflies travel about human head height in a northwesterly direction, narrowly dodging and sometimes colliding with pedestrians. I'd say there were about 10 to 20 per minute crossing La Paz road at Chrisanta as the high school students migrated over to the Taco Bell.
I continued to see smaller numbers through the weekend in the afternoon here in Tustin, but haven't seen much action since Monday. Go Vanessa cardui!