Those Huge Texas Monarch Butterflies

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

My recollection is that beginning with those empty lots in East Flatbush Brooklyn, they awaiting the inevitable construction of new homes, and continuing here in Georgia’s Piedmont region in 2019, I have seen some 2,867 Monarch butterflies. That includes Monarchs seen in New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma.

When I saw this coupled pair of Monarchs, he was with wings spread, in the Perennial Gardens of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall. These two Monarchs were the largest Monarchs I’d ever seen. She flew onto this Lantana plant first, and moments later he flew to her, with much force, and they joined bodies.

I stood there, wondering why these Texas Danaus Plexxipus individuals were so much larger than any I’d ever seen before??


At the Edge of a Pennsylvanian Treeline, a Fritillary Butterfly Swoops Up

Meadow Fritillary Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Great spangled fritillary butterflies swoop up as you hike along the path at the edge of the treeline. You spot an occasional Aphrodite fritillary . . . and then all of a sudden a much smaller fritillary flies up from the trail, only to descent some 15 feet ahead? it’s got to be, yes it is! A meadow fritillary. Boloria bellona !

Our experience is that despite it’s name, Meadow fritillaries are more often found amongst very low vegetation that border meadows.

They nectar energetically and do so with wings spread and wings motionless. So they are very kind to those who wish to photograph them, doing everything but smiling.

Butterfly species all differ . . . and this one is just a sweetie.

But just like all celebrities, not easily summonable.