Finally, a Monarch!

June 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

My friend and I were discussing jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and we stepped outside to see my patch of it. As we looked to the north side of the gazebo, we saw several bees, wasps and then a Monarch nectaring on the hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens 'White Dome'). It was my first sighting for the year. My friend went on his way and I grabbed the camera to see where else this little miracle might go.

Monarch Male on Hydrangea arborescens 'White Dome'Monarch Male on Hydrangea arborescens 'White Dome'

The butterfly spent quite a while on a few of the purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). It would rest on the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) in between visits to sip.

Monarch Male on Echinacea purpureaMonarch Male on Echinacea purpurea

It then went to the butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa). The garden was in soft light by this time, around 4 pm. I positioned myself behind some asters and was able to get in closer. His open-winged stance shows that he's a male with the large spot on each hindwing. He looks fresh and new!

Monarch Male on Asclepias tuberosaMonarch Male on Asclepias tuberosa

I hope he finds a mate! The Monarch numbers are at their very lowest since the winter of 1996-1997, only 3% of what they were then. Monarchs need native milkweeds like this plant to reproduce! I'll have more to say on this in another post. For more information now, you can go to:

Monarch Male on Asclepias tuberosaMonarch Male on Asclepias tuberosa


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