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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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 !!

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 !!

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.

Viceroy

viceroy 3 2018

Another great butterfly from the Madison Indiana area photographed at Big Oaks NWR in Jefferson County. This is a really cool little butterfly that mimics the larger Monarch butterfly to protect itself from birds and other predators.

The Monarchs have a really bad taste to predators, so I have been told, so the Viceroy has mimicked the look of the Monarch to hopefully protect themselves from birds and other predators that may want to have a taste of them.

Whether that is true or not I am not really sure, recently I have read that Viceroys have always had a bad taste.I would sure love to know who is tasting all these butterflies and is it really a good idea to be doing that !! Please excuse my attempt at being humorous.

Whatever the case they are one of the most beautiful butterflies that grace our area and are always a wonderful site to behold. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!