From a distance, we noticed many of these small, plainly colored butterflies fluttering about along the LATO trail during our first fall season in 2005. Why so many? Are they moths or butterflies? Lucky for us, our friend, artist and naturalist Marguerite Costigan was along on a hike to solve the mystery before us. A closer look revealed that these were California ringlet butterflies, plain but beautiful up close, and there were a lot of them because their larval food, purple needle grass, grows along the LATO trail.