Tag Archives: Monarch

The Mixed Summer of the Monarch


In June, one kind of Milkweed in my gardens in bloom. I have at least three different varieties growing now.

Last year, for the first time, I had a several Milkweed plants that got established in my gardens.

This year, I was surprised that the common Milkweed that got established last year didn’t bloom—but the plants did come back and did grow larger.

Sadly, they were not as eaten by caterpillars this year. Yes, I did see some, but some plants almost had all leaves eaten off last year, and that did not happen this year. And I don’t know if any of my caterpillar guests survived to become pretty butterflies—it was common for me to see caterpillars one day, but not the next, this summer.

The life of a wild caterpillar is a precarious thing.


August–caterpillar eating leaf on common Milkweed in my front garden.

Still, the Milkweed plants grew this summer. The swamp milkweed bloomed nicely. And I did see caterpillars.

I guess my overall project to introduce Milkweed to my gardens made progress this summer, and that’s a good thing. I needed some good news, as I read with some trepidation that the Trump administration is making changes to the Endangered Species Act, signed over four decades ago by another Republican (Richard Nixon).


Earlier this summer-I hope things will be looking up for these butterflies.

I could well believe the act could use some transparency and rules changes. But no, I don’t trust the Trump administration to do it well.

Well, I’ll do what I can. And I hope more of my pretty flower plants get eaten by Monarch babies next year.


Glad I have planted cone flowers. Monarchs appear to like them.


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Chasing the Bright, Elusive Butterflies and Bees


Morning shoot found few critters, but stalking the back yard was the neighbor's cat.

As we were getting ready for Amanda’s Baby Shower on Saturday, I snuck out for a while to photograph the gardens.

My idea was to capture some bugs on the flowers—we have cone flowers and butterfly bushes that attract a lot of visitors.

New gnome

New little gnome, gift from sister for watering her gardens during her trip to Boston. I plan for this little fern to be in the Times office at MMU, so new gnome won't get quite as weathered as many of his garden pals. Does gnome count as garden creature?

The bugs were not so interested. I got some nice flower photos, and cute pictures of granddaughter Lizzie playing in water on the back deck, but few bugs.

Well, it was a cool morning. Later that same day, after the shower, there was more bug life to see. Got some new monarch photos, a moth on the neighbor’s wall and some bees.

Cool. Good pictures come to those who wait. I’ve photographed monarchs before, but had the longer lens on the Nikon, and I think I got some better pictures. Besides those flickr images, here are more on Facebook.


Monarch on butterfly bush. More on Flickr in link at end of narrative blog post.


On neighbor's house, a month. Not the cat neighbor, other side.

And a bee ...

Final image, a bee.

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