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The Snow Butterfly of the Mountains World-wide in distribution, the genus Parnassius (family Papilionidae) numbers to about fifty species with three in North America. They are commonly known as a Rocky Mountain Parnassian, Rocky Mountain Apollo, or the Snow Butterfly of the Mountains since it is found in elevations up to snow levels throughout the United States and Canada. Its wing patterns and colorations vary widely between the species and between sexes in the numbers of yellow-centered red spots.
About the Author
James Kaye is a retired research biologist from the National Park Service working first in Carlsbad Caverns, then Padre Island, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Channel Islands and lastly Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, during which Kaye wrote thirty papers in science journals on plant and animal subjects. Other interests were (are) in the art of British artist John William Waterhouse with three papers on his life and works in art journals; two being in The British Art Journal. Kaye also wrote five articles on the 1800s pioneer era of Texas, his home State, appearing in history journals and four novels based on Texas history; one being A British Butterfly Collector on the Texas Frontier. When a teenager, Kaye collected butterflies in Texas and of the obstacles encountered as written in the Dedication to all collectors of them. In 1948 on a summer vacation trip in Green Mountain Falls and when Midland trains were still running through the town, and when on hikes up along the Crystal Creek waterfalls, Kaye collected specimens of the so-called Rocky Mountain Apollos commonly known as The Snow Butterfly of the Mountains (Fig. 33). His interest in them and in the history of Green Mountain Falls as well as that of Ute Pass inspired much of the storylines in The Falls of Green Mountain Novella, sometimes known as a "long short story."