Much of the work that VWA volunteers do involves restoring native seacliff buckwheat (Eriogonum parvifolium). This plant is an essential part of the critically endangered Smith's blue butterfly's life history. A strict mutualism exists between the butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) and buckwheat. The butterfly larvae feed exclusively on the buckwheat and adult butterflies return to pollinate the buckwheat. VWA volunteers preserve buckwheat populations on the Big Sur coast in order to provide the necessary habitat to sustain and hopefully increase populations of the Smith's blue butterfly.
Here you can find a link to the VWA Spring Newsletter. For volunteer opportunities and information about the Ventana Wilderness, check out their website http://www.ventanawild.org/.
Below are progress photos from painting this image. I included the female (bottom), male (top), and underside (middle) of the butterfly.