Molino Basin

Date & Time: 
February 3, 2018 -
9:00am to 1:00pm
Meeting Place: 
McDonald's Parking Lot at Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway
Trip Leader: 
Cindy Bethard
Special Notes: 
A National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass (Annual, Senior, Access, Military, Volunteer, Golden Age or Golden Access) or a fee is required for the parking lot in Molino Basin.

We hope the spring like weather has brought out the Manzanita blooms and several species of butterflies. We are very fortunate here in S. E. Arizona to have Brown Elfins occasionally found in and around the Manzanita during their spring brood. Please join us on the hunt for Brown Elfin and other species found in the spring which may include Blues, Queens, Sulfurs, Oranges and others. Last year we found only one Brown Elfin but it was a very chilly and wet day so we hope to find several this year! We look forward to having you join us in finding some interesting species.

We will be mostly walking on the paved road through Molino Basin Campground, but some off-road and brushy walking to explore as many Manzanita bushes/trees as possible.


Trip Butterfly Reports: 

We checked out the manzanitas at Molino Basin and later, at Gordon Hirabayashi campground.  Both areas were very dry, and the manzanita blooms were still pretty dormant.  They had not changed in size since my precheck two weeks ago.  The buckwheat by the roadside in Molino Basin was just beginning to leaf out.  Also the buds on the squawbush at the entrance to Gordon Hirabayashi campground still looked about two weeks or so from blooming.

We did not see any brown elfins.  All the group saw was four Pipevine Swallowtails and two Echo Azures.  But it was a nice day, lots of sunshine and warm weather, and we all enjoyed the time outside.  

We stopped at the Molino Basin Overlook on the way back for lunch and looked for butterflies, but it too was dry without any nectar sources.

The trip ended at 12:30 pm.

Leader email:

General Information

Beginners are welcome on all field trips! Experienced members will share their butterfly knowledge and expertise with all field trip participants. Children accompanied by a responsible adult are welcome on SEABA field trips. A donation of $5 per person to benefit SEABA will be appreciated. Carpooling from the meeting place is encouraged and it is kind to share gas expenses. If high clearance vehicles are required for a trip, it will be noted in individual trip descriptions. Dress for the field with sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Bring your own water, snacks, and lunch. Close-focusing binoculars, cameras, and field guides will be helpful aids for butterfly observation and identification. Trips usually end by mid-afternoon unless noted differently in individual trip descriptions.

Please be aware that:

1. Collecting or netting is NOT allowed on SEABA field trips.

2. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are NOT allowed on SEABA field trips.

3. All field trip participants are required to sign SEABA's Release and Assumption of Risk form at the beginning of the trip. The form may be viewed at SEABA Release.

4. Please arrive a few minutes prior to the meeting time posted for trips to facilitate paperwork and introductions to other trip participants.

    5. Field trips may be cancelled or rescheduled on short notice due to changing weather or road conditions. Please check the website for updates prior to the Field Trip.


    Our Southeastern Arizona Butterfly Checklist can be downloaded here. Please note that the SEABA checklist is copyrighted.

    Local NABA Butterfly Counts are listed at NABA Counts

    Field trips organized by the Central Arizona Butterfly Association are listed at their website: CAzBA.