Greetings Alviso Adobe friends, 

Your monthly dose of nature and history is here for you! Although our indoor facilities remain closed, our outdoor open space known for its breathtaking views, luscious vegetation, and historical markers is awaiting your discovery.
 S T A Y  C O N N E C T E D
F O L L O W  us on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W us on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W us on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W us on I N S T A G R A M
V I S I T our W E B S I T E V I S I T our W E B S I T E


Little Blue Butterfly
By Naturalist Martha Cerda
A dear friend of mine recently asked me, “Hey, what is going on in nature right now?” My mind instantly transformed into a canvas where some of my recent nature observations became bubbles dashing swiftly. Early spring wildflowers like the dazzling Blue Forget-me-not, growing rich-green leaves of Valley Oak trees, a mesmerizing fungus known as Velvet Foot, buzzing Western Bumble Bees, Asian Plum tree flowers dazzling the Alviso Adobe Community Park, and a tiny blue butterfly were the first to come to mind.
As I was hiking the Preserve Staging Area trail last week, I was struck by the color and beauty of a little blue butterfly (not the actual common name, my term of endearment for it.) It was windy, but the sun was warming. Its shiny blue color caught my eyes. I stopped and started thinking there was no way I was going to be able to take out my phone fast enough to snap a picture before it flew away. But the butterfly just stayed put, it looked like it was clinging on to the grass for dear life, swaying effortlessly with the wind. I was able to get closer and record a video of it (check out the short clip below.) I had seen this little blue butterfly before, it’s one of the first butterflies I see this time of year after a butterfly watching hiatus for a few months. This little blue butterfly’s common name is Echo Azure or Western Azure, Celastrina echo is a species in the butterfly family Lycaenidae and it often signals the arrival of spring.
These common insects range from Southern British Columbia, east to Montana, and south along the Pacific Coast to Baja California. They thrive and are seen across woodlands, marshes, streams, and foothills. Larvae feed on a variety of plants including Wild Lilac, California Buckeye, and blackberry plants. From above, the male wings are an iridescent bluish hue with darker borders more distinct on the forewing. On females, these colors are dulled. The underside for both is a pale blue gray with small black spots.
Although it was the Echo Azure’s striking beauty that first drew me to it, I stayed for its unique patterning, wing movement, and behavior. As I was watching, I was in awe of how this small butterfly swayed in unison with the wind. Butterflies are lightweight and they have a few tricks up their sleeve to combat the challenges of unfavorable weather or use windy days as an advantage to travel at high altitudes. Some might clap their wings behind their backs to push forward or have their wings wide open to catch the warmth from the sun and power their wing muscles in order to fly.
After finishing my hike, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Echo Azure, I kept wondering if there was something else about it I did not quite know? Turns out all butterflies part of the family Lycaenidae are complex and exhibit a mutualistic relationship – when two organisms of different species work together each benefiting from each other/their relationship- with ants in the family Formicidae.
The larvae (caterpillars) are being watched over by ants. Larvae of these butterflies produce a sweet liquid appreciated by the ants. In exchange for this sweet treat, the ants protect the caterpillars from predators. The larvae also have glands that release a chemical that mimic the alarm pheromone of the ants, their own ‘batman signal’ to rally up the ants.
Butterflies have fascinating lives and behaviors most of us never notice. But if you spend 5 minutes observing from a distance, you’re sure to be drawn into their world. Here are some places to see them in Pleasanton: 

Preserve Staging Area
6045 Laurel Creek Dr,
Click here for a map 
Callippe Preserve Staging Area
8500 Clubhouse Dr., Pleasanton, CA 94566
Click here for a map 

Arroyo del Valle Trail
Off Main Street and Del Valle Parkway


  • Ken Peek, Native Technologies Artisan, shares the wonders of stone tools in a 45-minute virtual presentation. Naturalist Martha shares how Augustin Bernal has been a natural supermarket and hardware store for indigenous peoples. Click here to watch!
  • Ken Peek, Native Technologies Artisan, and Naturalist Martha join Mark Duncanson, Recreation Coordinator at the Firehouse Arts Center virtually on Pleasanton LIVE & chat about the art and history of flintknapping. Click here to watch! 



We want to hear from you! What's got you wondering? Send a postcard with your questions about local natural history - anything from wildlife to historic objects. One to two questions and responses will be posted here. 
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Send your postcard to: 
Pigeon Post - Alviso Adobe
200 Old Bernal Avenue 
Pleasanton, CA. 94566


New FLIPGRID videos are up! 

Try your hand at nature art, a hands-on nature exploration activity, or learn more about our historic Adobe house and the families that once lived here.

Each video includes additional activities or resources. To access a complete list of all of our content videos check out


Visit the Virtual Library & Recreation Center for other Adobe resources and more. Here you'll find a great selection of free applications, online services and quality content that you can access from home. 
Alviso Adobe Community Park
3465 Old Foothill Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Contact our Staff:

Martha Cerda
Library and Recreation Coordinator/Naturalist
 The Alviso Adobe Community Park facilities are currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Park grounds are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.

For more information, and for live updates impacting our community, visit the City of Pleasanton COVID-19 Update Page.

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City of Pleasanton · 3465 Old Foothill Road · PO Box 520 · Pleasanton, CA 94566 · USA