Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Monarchs (Danaus plexippus)

I had never been fortunate enough to find Monarch butterflies to take pictures of until this year.

I determined to remedy that and remembering the location of some Milkweed plants that I had seen last fall along a roadside just a short distance away; visited that location. I found two Monarchs feeding there and also saw my first Monarch caterpillar!

The next week I located a larger growth of Milkweed alongside another roadside . And at this location there were several butterflys including Monarchs, Great Spangled, Aphrodite and Altanis fritillaries. And as an added bonus I found several Clear-wing Hummingbird moths, a couple of new skippers that I hadn't photographed before: Peck's Skipper and a Dun Skipper. Also a very beautiful American Copper in a closed wing position.

Returning to that second roadside area just a day ago the Monarchs and fritillaries that I had seen before were gone and instead Common Wood-nymph were in abundance. Having thought that perhaps I had seen my last Monarch of the summer I was very pleased to find a beautiful one feeding in my flower garden yesterday afternoon.

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