A Monarch Tale of Woe: this Superstar is damaged. Shoot or Don’t Shoot?

Monarch Butterfly on Tithonia photographed by Jeff Zablow in the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, GA

It was getting to be a problem. Here we were in Georgia, at the Butterflies & Blooms at the Briar Patchon my 3rd trip down to this butterfly destination. Good images of Monarch butterflies just weren’t happening. First the USPS delivery of processed slides were stolen by ditzy teenagers from the front of my Pittsburgh home, only to later be found strewn on various lawns along the boulevard that we live on (after days of rain). So my May 2015 images were lost. Then, later, it wasn’t that the Briar Patch doesn’t have Monarchs. They have lots of Monarchs. Problem was that the Monarchs refused to permit good approach. My approach was met with Off it goes!

I got the feeling that folks were looking forward to have a look at the photographic product of all of that time (Glorious time!) spent in the Briar Patch. Set a moniker for 2015 for butterfly enthusiasts east of the Mississippi, and it would be: Year of the Monarchs.

Then one day in August, this stunner came along. My approach? Tolerated. The light available? Just fine. My position vis a vis the butterfly? Good. Set time on the Mexican sunflower head? Good and not rushed.

Something was just not right though. What was it? Oh oh! This butterfly had sustained major bird-struck damage to the right hindwing!! It was a Superstar with a glaring rip in her gown or in his tux. Shoot or don’t shoot?

Virginia, Stanley, Sylbie, Dave and Phil . . .

Jeff

5 thoughts on “A Monarch Tale of Woe: this Superstar is damaged. Shoot or Don’t Shoot?

  1. I had the same problem trying to photograph the Monarchs in the Briar Patch! Not so at my house in coastal Georgia. There were Monarchs and caterpillars on my butterfly weed yesterday, December 28. They have been coming around since Thanksgiving and I have been able to snap a few photos. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always shoot! I see more to this story: The hind wing with the glaring rip in my opinion looks like a repaired hind wing. What a story of resilience & overcoming what might have been a death sentence. If this butterfly was able to continue on it’s way with the wing in the shape shown… what potential to teach others that we must keep on keeping on and NEVER Give UP!.
    Much better than Dorie’s refrain of “Just Keep Swimming” in the film- Finding Nemo.
    I can see this photo used to show so many life lessons.
    THANKS for taking the shot!

    Like

  3. Always shoot! I see more to this story: The hind wing with the glaring rip in my opinion looks like a repaired hind wing. What a story of resilience & overcoming what might have been a death sentence.
    If this butterfly was able to continue on it’s way with the wing in the shape shown… what potential to teach others that we must keep on keeping on and NEVER Give UP!.
    Much better than Dorie’s refrain of “Just Keep Swimming” in the film- Finding Nemo.
    I can see this photo used to show so many life lessons. THANKS for taking the shot!

    Liked by 1 person

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