The Beautiful Monarch

monarch eveing 9 2018

The last few days here in Madison Indiana the Monarch butterflies have been resting and feeding in all the great wildflower fields that surround our area. I also have never seen the goldenrod as beautiful as I have seen it this year, which makes it a great compliment to the Monarch in all my pics.

i don’t know how long the migration will hold around here but I am trying to get out and shoot with every spare minute I can find. Whatever happens it has definitely been one the best opportunities I have ever had to photograph these beautiful winged creatures and who knows with their numbers plummeting across the United States I may not ever see these numbers again.

The sad thing is,at least in my area, that no one else seems to be noticing the significant number of butterflies that have stopped off from their annual migration. I have spent countless hours outdoors and have never witnessed such a display that is being put on right now.

I guess it’s all in your priorities but I will take nature every time and leave the frivolous stuff to the masses lol. I just hope that maybe I can talk one person into getting out seeing something they may never be able to see again in their lifetime and it has a lasting effect on them.

Thanks for taking the time to stop and have a look at my photography and have a great weekend!

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Love Butterfly Style

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!!

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!

Two is company Three is Death !!

monarch 6 2018

Sometimes things hide in plain site and those things can be deadly !!

While photographing Monarch butterflies in a field of New England Asters the other day near my home, in Madison Indiana, I came across these two lovely Monarchs and followed them closely for about fifteen minutes.

I spent the entire time completely enthralled with their movements and feeding patterns. Even though the wind was blowing pretty steady at the time I was able to capture several good images from the shoot.

And as I said before sometimes things can hide in plain site, even though I spent considerable time observing these two wonderful gems little did I know that the grim reaper was at their door, in the form of a Carolina Mantis. It wasn’t till I got home and downloaded the images on my computer did I notice the beast.

Hard to believe an insect so ferocious and larger than life could have been right under my nose for so long and I never even had a clue. And that is probably why they are at the top of the food chain in the insect world. And we won’t even bring up their sex life lol !!

I worked the area with the Monarchs for around fifteen minutes and then moved on not knowing if the predator got it’s prey or whether the butterflies escaped with their life’s. I guess that is one of the many mysteries of nature.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

American Lady

american lady 1 2018

Here is another butterfly that inhabits the Madison Indiana area. I captured this beautiful American Lady at Big Oaks NWR earlier this summer.

The American Lady is a wonderful butterfly with amazing wing markings and coloration it is widely distributed across North America. They like low vegetation in open areas, they have 3-4 broods a year and feed on many different wildflowers but are especially fond of button-bush which this one is feeding on in the image I have shared.

The American Lady has two large eye spots on it’s hind wings whereas the Painted Lady has four, both butterflies have a striking resemblance to each other and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two sometimes.

They are also very skittish and it can be extremely difficult to photograph or even approach them at times. A slow advance with as little movement as possible are the best way to get adjacent for very best viewing or photography.

So here is the image and a bit of info on this great butterfly hope you enjoy the post and now is the time to get out and find these beautiful little jewels of nature !!

Swallowtails on Blazing Star

swallowtails 1 2018

Here is an image from Big Oaks NWR of a male and female swallowtail feeding on blazing star wildflowers. The blazing star is a wonderful wildflower that attracts many varieties of butterflies and other pollinators.

There is no more a beautiful site than a Blazing Star stalk covered in blooms with multiple butterflies fighting for feeding rights.

Coming across a field of these beautiful wildflowers is like hitting the jackpot for butterfly viewing, they tend to stay very close to the plant and will hold still for long periods of time as well.

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.