We had just gone into the front room to talk when I was distracted by a butterfly out by the pond. Yes, it was a Monarch, the first we had seen all year. We finished, and I hurried outside with the camera. It was a female and she was nectaring on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).
She was also laying eggs!
The Monarch flew further into the garden out of sight. I was able to find one of the eggs, a tiny pearl.
She continued to sip nectar, flicking her wings to keep little bees and flies from bothering her. She would pause to lay another egg, sometimes deep within the flower clusters.
This photo best shows that the butterfly was a bit tattered and worn. It was good to see it still feeding late in the afternoon. It was a very good day!