Monarchs on the Move

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.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

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Summer Wildflowers

It’s funny that I have spent my entire summer photographing butterflies and even though I have captured many of the great summer wildflowers that grow here in the Madison Indiana area I have neglected to post any here on my blog. And what makes it funny is that I love to photograph wildflowers more than anything else !!

Here are three examples of beautiful wildflowers that call the area home. Michigan Lily, Black-eyed Susan and the Wild Bergamot.
All three are beautiful wildflowers but their real importance comes from the fact that butterflies and other pollinators love them.

There is nothing quite as beautiful as a butterfly feeding on a wildflower in an open feed on a late summer afternoon !!

I will have many more examples of the different wildflowers that we have here in southern Indiana and will share them at a later time. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

Zebra Swallowtail

zebra 1 2018

Another awesome butterfly captured at Big Oaks NWR in Madison Indiana. This is one of my favorite butterflies not because of their beauty or elegance but because of their aggressive nature.

As an example last year I was sitting in a lawn chair photographing great spangled fritillaries on butterfly weed at Splinter Ridge FWA in southern Indiana. The plant was covered with the fritillaries but this one beat up zebra would fly in and run off every other butterfly on that plant and even took aim at me a couple times flying right up into my face just daring me to do something !!

So even though they are one of the most beautiful and unique butterflies that grace our local fields and woodlots it is their fighting spirit that really makes them one of my favorites !!

Thanks for stopping by and having a look.

Black Swallowtail

black 1 2018

Here is another great butterfly from Big Oaks NWR in Madison Indiana. This is the Black Swallowtail not to be confused with the Pipevine Swallowtail or the Spicebush Swallowtail or the Dark Morph Tiger Swallowtail, this is why butterfly identification can be confusing lol !!

It’s always a good idea to carry a butterfly book with you when searching them out and even then it’s still not easy telling them apart especially skippers !! But it is a very rewarding family or solo activity.

And now is the time to be out looking for these beautiful little flying gems, you can find them as close as your own backyard or in the biggest nature preserve just look for flowers and open sunlit areas and then you can drive yourself crazy trying to id all the different species lol !!

Tiger Swallowtail

tiger 1 2018.jpg

Another great butterfly the Tiger Swallowtail probably the most abundant butterfly here in the Madison Indiana area.

This wonderful butterfly is one of the largest and most beautiful butterflies to view and photograph, generally they will sit pretty still if you don’t move to fast and they really enjoy the many garden flowers that we have here in Madison.

This subject was photographed at Big Oaks NWR and was feeding on Blazing Star which is one of the best wildflowers for attracting pollinators.

Hope you enjoy the image and if you get out in the fields or backyard keep your eyes peeled for this great Butterfly !!

Common Buckeye

common buckeye 1 2018

Been a great summer photographing these flying flowers don’t know if it’s a cycle but I have never saw so many beautiful specimens, especially Monarchs I know their population has taken a great hit over the last few years but this year I have seen a crazy amount of them !!

The image I have posted is a Common Buckeye which I captured at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana a few weeks ago. Absolutely love the markings and the color on this little guy. The butterflies will be really peaking over the next several weeks a as the migration south begins for many of the varieties that inhabit the Midwest.

It’s a great time to get out and view these wonderful creatures !!

Winter Photography

Took a long hike out to one my favorite photography spots just outside of Madison Indiana the other day in search of a subject besides a human one for once.  Came across some wonderful scenes and subjects which I will share in later posts, but one of the first subjects I photographed, which was in abundance was the common Cutleaf Teasel.

The Teasel is a great subject to photograph during the summer it attracts hosts ranging from Butterflies, Hummingbirds and other insects, and then during the fall many bird species use the thistle as a food source.

Because of the plants structure though the winter is my favorite time to photograph it, the teasel makes for interesting comps with the snow clinging to the towering stalks,  and I was able to capture a couple of totally different moods in the subject that day.

The first image was captured as the sun was setting and filled the scene with this lovely warm light which made for a great contrast against the snow. The second image was more of an isolated one and I converted it to black and white to give it a darker mood.

I think that d0ing this shoot in the winter it is the only way to have shown such a contrasting view of this subject and it really helps my photography to capture and share both of them with you.Thanks for stopping by and taking  a look !!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                            thistle 2 2014

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          thistle 1 2014