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Image of Common Buckeye butterfly

A Bit More History

Continued from "About" page...


I had long paid attention to butterflies, ever since my childhood days of collecting butterflies with my Dad.  When I was about 10 years old, Dad drove our family up the Steens Mountain Loop Road, and we stopped near the summit, at over 9,000 feet elevation.  In the windswept, grassy meadows near the summit, there were hundreds of Milbert's Tortoiseshells flying up in the wind. I was captivated!  That year, Dad bought me a butterfly net, a Golden Guide field identification guide, a killing jar, a pinning board, and a display case.  The next summer, we spent several weekends driving and walking Forest Service Roads near Portland looking for butterflies with our nets in hand.

Decades later, in 2001, my friend Eric Wold told me of his childhood love of butterflies, and we decided to go on a hike to Iron Mountain in Linn County to find some butterflies.  On that hike I unsuccessfully attempted to photograph a bright green Sheridan's Hairstreak, and I got hooked! That first failure started me on a long and joyful journey of photographing butterflies.

​ It was about 2014 when I realized that I had photographed around 100 species of native butterflies in Oregon. I thought to myself "I might actually be able to photograph all of them," meaning all of Oregon's regularly occurring 168 species (the exact number depends on whose taxonomic approach you follow, and how many species have been recently split or lumped).  I decided that year to go to work on those remaining 68 or so species, just for fun, and to see what kind of progress I could make. In 2014 - 2017, I had a great time tromping around the wild spots in Oregon, and added several more species.

Author and net in the field at Bachelor Mountain

In 2017, I posted a couple of butterfly photos to Facebook, and admitted to the world that I was going to try for all of Oregon's regularly breeding species.  Seeing that post, my friend Lindsay Selzer inquired about where she could see all the ones I had already photographed.  I sheepishly wrote her that I had never bothered to compile the collection and I actually wasn't even sure how many I had.  Her question inspired me to find out the answer, which led me down the path toward creating this website to share these photos.  Through that effort I realized that, of Oregon's regularly occurring and breeding species, at that time I only had about 15 more to photograph! I hadn't realized I was so close!  Knowing I was so close lit a fire under me, and I began to get organized.

See my blog for accounts of my most recent escapades, adventures and discoveries.

Thanks for reading, and for your interest in the Butterflies of Oregon!

Neil Bjorklund

Eugene, Oregon

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