Eversmann’s parnassian is a butterfly generally found in cold regions with a high latitude of 60+ degrees North near the arctic circle, such as Siberia, Alaska, or Yukon. At about 40+ degrees , it may still be found in high mountains such as Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido) or Paektu Mountain(China/North Korea). The adult butterfly is active when there is snow in the field. To find this beautiful butterfly, hike through certain snow fields may be unavoidable.
Among the known spots, Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido, Japan) may be the most accessible one. Back in 2018, I made my first attempt to find this butterfly. I failed as the road to the mountain was damaged by heavy rain. In June 2019, I made another attempt. I failed again miserably as the road did not open on schedule. After confirming the road condition, I booked my flight to Japan and made my third attempt in July 2019.
Although it is summer and the temperature is 20+ °C , it is still a must to cross several snow fields. With hotter than usual weather, the snow fields were smaller than usual. Still, the size remained respectable.
The trail is a popular hiking trail. We met quite a lot of visitors on our way to the butterfly spot. Some visitors made their way back with casual hiking boots. However, it is definitely better to be well equipped (crampons, waterproof boots with insulation, hiking poles).
Parnassius eversmanni was active around the host plant and nectar plants. In Japan, the habitat is seriously protected. Visitors are strictly prohibited to cross the trail boundary. While photography is concerned, you have to wait for the butterfly to land on proper places.
Back in Christmas 2013, I visited Chiang Mai. Although it supposed to be the flower blooming season, the weather was unexpectedly cold. Right before that trip, I read that the temperature in Chiang Mai city dropped to 0°C. It was a bit warmer when I landed there. Still, that was 4°C. Due to the unexpected weather, the trip was a failure.
This year, I made another attempt. With weather back to normal, I finally met these fairies at the summit of Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand.
Together with a large group of butterfly enthusiasts, I took a whopping 900km bus ride to Jiangxi looking for one butterfly, Sericinus montelus. The butterflies should be common in northern parts of China around late summer.
The original plan was to leave Shenzhen at night on Friday and to reach the spot in the morning on Saturday. Unfortunately, the ride was not exactly smooth as expected as we did not know buses were banned from highway during late night. When we reach the spot, it’s already late in the afternoon on Saturday. Still, we managed to find the locally common butterflies quite quickly.
While the main purpose of the trip was to enjoy sakura blooming with my family, I spent one day and went to Kanagawa alone. There, I found the seasonal butterfly, Luehdorfia japonica, that is endemic to Japan. While it occurs during spring, local people call it “the goddess of spring” in Japan.
During my Ecuador Trip in February, I tested the latest GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera. On desktop PC, you may adjust the view angle with the mouse. If you have a VR goggle, try YouTube VR and experience the trip as if you were with me.