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.
This may be the last one for this year but hopefully not forever.
The Monarch is definitely in trouble. With all the problems because of their low population numbers still trying to rebound and habitat loss all along their range, these beautiful animals have a hard road ahead and we may be their only hope.
Plant Milkweed, stop over mowing and discontinuing the use of dangerous herbicides will help bring back their numbers. All of these actions are attainable and will make a difference in their population as well as making a better life for all wildlife.
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.
Here is an image of one of my favorite butterflies, the Zebra Swallowtail. I photographed this wonderful specimen at Splinter Ridge FWA here in Madison Indiana.
The Zebra has such a unique appearance and their sometime ferocious defense of their territory make them such an amazing species of butterfly you can’t help but admire them.
I once watched a beat up male chase away every other butterfly trying to feed on a patch of butterfly weed and after running them all off he turned his attention to me lol !!
And if you ever watch one flying thru an open field with it’s beautiful tail twisting in the wind you would understand what a wonderful animal they are. So if you ever get a chance to be out and come across the Zebra, take some time to sit and observe this great wonder of the natural world !!
The Halloween Pennant is a great dragonfly with a very distinct color that has you thinking Halloween with the warm fall color !!
I captured this one at Big Oaks NWR not long ago, I have kinda stayed away from this type of photography because of the speed of these beautiful insects. But after hanging around watching them for a while I see they have a penchant for flying back to the same spot you scared them from if you give them some time.
So if wildflowers and butterflies weren’t enough I have to add dragonflies to the list of things to photograph as well …I guess it’s better than hanging out in bars lol !!