Late June 2018 and we’re at Akeley Swamp in southwestern New York State. You know what I was looking for. Butterflies. Along with that, there is always, always the possibility of comely wildflowers. The eyes don’t stop scanning, from minute one to back to the car (rental) time.
Was Asclepias syriaca, Common Milkweed in bloom? Yes. There were hundreds of flowerheads along the swamp trail, bearing hundreds of thousands of flowers. Few butterflies flew, that a disappointment.
One of the big Yippees! that morning was the discovery of Canada Lilies in fresh bloom. I tell you, you stood and stared at their stark rich red, and did so for several moments. What a sweet pleasure, that table set amidst the sea of green around it.
I liked this bloom especially, and as we, my Canon with its IS Macro- lens closed in on this one, look what I found!
Immature? An adult? Species? All I thought of was get this shot Jeff, for it’d be one fine post on wingedbeauty.com.
Do I have a crew of darner photographers to ID? I don’t think so, do I?
July 8, 2015 and I have not seen a single Monarch butterfly on the Asclepias Syriaca (common milkweed) in our front yard or our side yard. Not a single leaf of the hundreds show any chewing. Not a Monarch caterpillar can I find. The plants were purchased from Monarch Watch. They are affiliated with the University of Kansas and the plants are lush. One of them has grown to a lofty 7′ tall, with a fine looking flowerhead higher than 6′.
This year reminds of 2014, when I didn’t see them until very late August. Those 2014 Monarchs I saw sipping nectar on my Blazing Stars and on Asclepias Syriaca in Doak field at Raccoon Creek State Park.
It’s July and I have not enjoyed a view like this one in 2015. This photo was taken some years ago at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. We know how this situation gnaws away at us.
Admission? I find myself thinking how fortunate I am to have more than 20 quality images of Monarchs stored in my Neumade slide cabinets. Then I regret even thinking this unthinkable. What if they . . . ?
Ay, if we could round up Peterson, Edwards, Nabokov, and Audubon and get them over to the mucky mucks in Washington, D.C. to do some heavy lobbying. A dreamer am I.
Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park
You will always be asked, “How can you tell whether a Monarch Butterfly is a male or a female?” It is asked each and every time I show photographs before groups of adults and children.
It’s August 17th and this butterfly is resting on a Common milkweed leaf (Asclepias Syriaca) at Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania.
This powerfully built butterfly demonstrates how to discern the sex of male and female Monarchs. Do you see that black patch on his left hindwing vein? Only males have these scent glands, one on each hindwing. If you see a Monarch and it doesn’t have two black scent patches, it’s a female. If it does have a black scent patch on each hindwing, it’s a male.
2013 has got to be a bummer for male Monarchs. With so few females about in the 48 continental U.S. states, males have more than the usual patrolling to do to find a mate, and begin the Monarch butterfly life cycle all over again. No time to waste!