Finally got to see the Monarchs migrating thru the Madison Indiana area over this past weekend. I think there may still be a few feeding and resting at King’s Daughters Health, where I have captured so many, but I kinda threw my back out Monday and can’t get out to see. So for me it’s over for the year.
What I witnessed was definitely an incredible site, I captured over eight hundred images of them feeding and resting in the beautiful fall wildflowers that cover the fields that surround our Hospital. Every step I took I would flush out two or three butterflies and send them flying into the afternoon sky. Many times I would look up over the goldenrod that covers the grounds and watch them dancing and chasing each other above the forest of wildflowers in search of their next drink of nectar.
It really is amazing that these wonderful little winged gems used our grounds as a way station for their long trip to Mexico. Even though I witnessed hundreds of Monarchs probably less than 5% of them will make it to the mountains where they overwinter. And that is why we must help them with good conservation practices along their journey south.
Milkweed is the key, years ago it was all along our county roads and highways as well as hay fields and ditches. But now these areas get mowed way more frequently then in the past and it is probably the number one reason for their decline. Many other factors play a roll as well but habitat destruction is the one that can be solved quickly and help get them back on their feet or wings actually.
So if you have a lot of land let some of it go back to nature and instead of planting all those store bought flowers try putting out native wildflowers. Especially milkweed not only will you be helping out the Monarchs but many other butterflies and bee’s will be helped as well.
Captured this beautiful little specimen at my place of employment here in Madison Indiana. These are one of my favorite butterflies their color is brilliant in their wings patterns and when they do take the time to rest they show off their amazing profile for everyone to see.
The fields around out hospital have so many wildflowers and butterflies it almost seems you are in some hidden prairie somewhere out in the plains . The only problem is it does need to be mowed now and then and I am hoping they wait a bit more because it has a incredible amount of goldenrod and the Monarchs will be migrating thru soon.
And this wildflower is one of their most attractive sources for nectar that helps get them thru on their long journey to Mexico.
It’s not too often that you can just walk out the door after work and be surrounded by a virtual butterfly paradise. But that’s what it’s like where I work here in Madison Indiana.
King’s Daughters’ Health is a private, not-for-profit organization, King’s Daughters’ Health is focused on delivering exceptional health services to families throughout southeast Indiana and portions of northern Kentucky. The main campus, including King’s Daughters’ Hospital, is located at 1373 E. State Road 62 in Madison, Indiana.
It is a large campus that has one of the finest stands of Common and Purple Milkweed that I have ever come across. Butterfly Milkweed, Joe-pye weed, iron-weed, blue mist, and golden rod also grace the hospital grounds. The color palette alone is almost beautiful enough but the real prize is the incredible variety of butterflies that make the prairie like fields their home.
I have witnessed or photographed at least 24 different species of butterflies in these fields and I believe even more may be escaping me as well. So as you can see I have a pretty neat place to explore after a hard day at work !!
Maybe I am showing my age but I thought the title from that show from the seventies “Love American Style” was an appropriate rip off title for tonight’s post. It wasn’t exactly Emmy award material but it had a catchy theme song and started the “Happy Days” and “Mork & Mindy” series.
OK that wasn’t exactly that funny or informative so moving on to the real reason I am here and that’s to share some images of the real love making inside the butterfly world.
I captured these wonderful butterflies in compromising situations this past summer in the Madison Indiana area. I really tried to give them their privacy but in the interest of nature photography I had to go against my best judgement and record the deed.
In my defense they really never tried to cover themselves up and seemed to enjoy their exhibitionist performance. Well maybe they didn’t enjoy the exhibition part and only cared for the mating part.
Now this whole post has become a train wreck and maybe I should just stick to posting images of butterflies and stay way from trying to make a humorous blog post. So here we have the Cloudless Sulphurs, Silvery Checkerspots and Viceroys doing what they do best making baby butterflies or should I say baby caterpillars, so they can carry on the great cycle of life these beautiful creatures are traveling.
Thanks for putting up with so called humor and hope yo enjoy the images!!
The last few nights have been amazing following the Monarchs here in Madison Indiana. It looks like the Monarch Migration is in full swing and looks to be one of the most impressive ones in recent memory.
I really believe I have seen more Monarchs the last few weeks than I have see in my lifetime. One day last week I stood in one spot and gazed over a field of New England Aster and Goldenrod and counted thirty six feeding on the blooms.
But I have heard stories of people just to our north coming across roosts of these magnificent creatures where hundreds have landed for the night, that is what I am looking for! What an incredible sight would that be to behold.
I guess if I keep looking and hitting the fields and woodlots here in Southern Indiana sooner or later I will get my wish and if not it has been an incredible year for photographing and viewing butterflies.
There isn’t too much time left before they will all be gone as the seasons change but it will cool down and the leaves will change and more opportunities will be there for me to get out and photograph all the beauty the area has to offer.