Coupled Monarchs in the Perennial Gardens of the National Butterfly Center

Monarch Butterflies Coupled photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

These monarchs, coupled together in the perennial gardens of the National Butterfly Center (NBC), were the largest Monarch butterflies that I have ever seen. They are much larger than the thousands I’ve seen.

The female can be seen, she under the male. I’d seen her nectaring on these very same milkweed blooms, slowly and patiently. He flew to her, and they remained as you see them here, for a handful of minutes. They flew away, the male carrying her along with him.

An unforgettable moment at the Mission, Texas NBC, less than a handful of miles from the Mexico border wall.

Jeff

Fodder for Optimists: Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod Blooms

Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 9/5/14

This photograph is the fuel I need for recharging my optimism. She’s a fresh Monarch Butterfly and she’s taking in nectar from Goldenrod blooms in Raccoon Creek State Park’s Doak Meadow. It was early September, and the lovely Monarch was gorging on as much carbohydrates, proteins and lipids as she could, before her thousands of miles flight to Central Mexico.

This view is so uplifting for me. We complain of this and that, most really not too significant. This lady Monarch, ready to fly from southwestern Pennsylvania to the conifer-covered mountains of far away Mexico.

Makes you think. What’s her motives? What’s in it for her?

Jeff

What is Your Favorite Thanksgiving Butterfly this Year?

Monarch Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com

Zebra heliconian butterfly sipping nectar, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Kathleen, GATiger Swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA
My wife is at this very moment cooking and baking, all for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Dinner, here in North Macon, Georgia. Cherry pie, Linzer tarts and Stuffed cabbage. Me, I’m warmly thinking of the next days, tomorrow Thanksgiving Day in our Blessed USA. Saturday, my Birthday Day. The last weeks have drained me some, for I long for civility in our Blessed United States of America.

Thinking of good things, my mind went to a fascinating question. Which of the butterflies rates, deserves the honor of being the 2020 Thanksgiving Butterfly? I’ll tell you mine, and await you telling me yours. OK?

My candidates here are the Zebra Heliconian butterfly (shown in Kathleen, Georgia), the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (seen in Raccoon Creek State Park nectaring on Butterflyweed blooms) and the Monarch butterfly (seen in Raccoon Creek State Park, enjoying Joe Pye blooms).

My choice.? Today, I made many trips into the backyard garden, to water the newly set-in native plants (Blackgum, Sourweed, Asters, Irises, Sassafras’s, Nutmeg Hickory, Swamp Titi and more and more. It’s the day before Thanksgiving. the Monarchs and the Tigers are no longer seen, the Monarchs are gone to Mexico and the Tigers, hmmm. The whole time I was moving the watering hose (rubber) around, Zebra Heliconians were gracefully flying around me, sometimes within. 2-feet of me. I not once seemed to startle them, they probably males, seriously seeking females (?). I though about this much, Thanksgiving hours away here, and on November 25th, Zebras ballet-flying in our garden.

To the question, which rates section as my Thanksgiving butterfly for 2020. Zebra Heliconian butterflies.

May I ask which might be your Thanksgiving butterfly for this memorable 2020?

Jeff

My Vote? Monarch on Joe Pye

Monarch Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com

Tired of the USA election cycle, I prefer much to cast my vote for this All American pair. A male Monarch butterfly nectaring on Joe Pye flowers. An American butterfly on an American wildflower. Both valued in your meadows, fens and trails.

See? This has been a fine, relaxing change for me. For you?

Jeff

When the Monarch Returns

Right side view of Monarch butterfly on Tithonia, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, GA

The juice of life: When the Monarch butterflies return! The Monarchs we enjoyed this 2020 will return. They may be some worn, but they are among the most admirable, amazing animals I know of. Riding those warm air currents, hundreds of feet above us, to Mexico’s central mountains, and returning on those those high air currents . . . Astounding.

When they return, I hope they will find us healthy, hale and . . . Happy!

Danaus plexxipus. G-d’s superb creation.

Jeff