There is nothing more beautiful than a Monarch butterfly bathed in warm evening light against a backdrop of Goldenrod wildflowers. It is hard to believe that these amazing creatures will attempt to migrate to the mountains of Central Mexico, most won’t make it but for the ones who do complete their journey they represent one of the true wonders of nature !!
For years I really never seemed to care much for environmental issues but as I delved more and more into photography things began to change, mainly my experiences afield. Thru my years of photography I have noticed less and less butterflies especially the Monarchs. And at the same time more mowing of fields and roadsides and then throw in all the spraying of chemicals and you end up with a recipe of disaster for these delicate creatures.
One of the most revealing things was when in my youth driving thru the country on late summer evenings and having the windshield of our car completely covered in smashed insects. Today it’s not even close to those days of of having to turn on your windshield wipers just to clean them off.
Without milkweed and the over use of chemicals they will soon disappear altogether and go the way of the Passenger Pigeon and countless other beautiful species that once inhabited America and beyond.
Hopefully things are changing a bit though, many states are beginning to let the roadsides and right of ways grow up and they are planting Milkweed and other wildflowers to help all the pollinators, butterflies, bees and moths to continue on with what nature intended.
You can easily help as well take some of your lawn out and plant milkweed and other wildflowers instead soon you will watching all those beautiful creatures flitting about your yard and you have less mowing going on as well.
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 !!
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 !!
Just continuing on with my backyard theme, here are few more Butterflies I have been able to photograph in my butterfly garden this year. Still no Monarchs but the ones I have been shooting have been really beautiful and a blast to work with.
These are three different species, each one is beautiful in its own right and each can be really tough to photograph. It seems the smaller the species the faster and more complicated it becomes lol !!
And so far it’s been a great year but I am still not finding any of my favorite Butterflies and that’s The Monarch, reports are that the population is down about 60% and I think I believe hat number, they have all but been invisible to me this year. Hopefully I will still be able to photograph a few before the season ends here in Madison Indiana and they continue on their migration south into Mexico.
Hope you enjoy my images and thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my blog !!
Eastern Tailed Blue