A 2004 survey reported 32 species of butterflies on San Juan Island. First to arrive are sky blue Spring Azures, then Pale Tiger Swallowtails, Purplish Coppers, Silvery Blues, Brown Elfins, Two-Banded Checkered Skippers, and many more. This is also home to the rare Island Marble butterfly, thought to be extinct but recently discovered on the island in 1998. You may spot one flitting around nonnative mustard plants.
Did You Know?
Camas bulbs were so highly prized by Northwest Indians for their creamy potato/baked pear taste that groups sometimes fought over the best growing areas, and people traveled great distances to harvest the bulbs and prepare them into thin, dry cakes. To ensure future harvests, the Indians burned the prairie regularly.