A couple of us were out on the trails this morning enjoying the unexpected sunshine -- and working, of course -- when we were lucky enough to spot our first butterflies of the season. If you happen to be out on the Wishart Trail (the section closest to 67th Street), keep your eyes open for brown butterflies with white margins. They're called Mourning Cloaks, and they're often the earliest butterflies you'll find.
Our early butterflies manage to be early butterflies because they are hibernators. According to Alberta Butterflies, butterflies like the Mourning Cloaks and Tortoise Shells overwinter as adults in brush piles or leaf litter, emerging as soon as it becomes warm enough to fly.