A Royal Photo Shoot

Friday morning there was a Monarch butterfly nectaring on the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). It seemed so intent on the Tithonia that I was able to get pretty close and took a picture with my phone. Judy then came out, saw the Monarch, then ran back in for her good camera.

Monarch butterfly nectaring on Tithonia.
Monarch butterfly nectaring on Tithonia.

I posted my cell phone picture on Facebook, but at the risk of being duplicative I wanted to post some of her pictures on the blog.

In this picture you get a good view of the butterfly using his proboscis for feeding.
In this picture you get a good view of the butterfly using his proboscis for feeding.

This particular Monarch was remarkably cooperative. He would stay on the same flower for a long time. Even when he flew off, he would land on another Tithonia flower within a few seconds.

2014-08-01 08.53.32 monarch butterfly

They really do love Mexican sunflower.

Monarch spreading his wings to catch a few rays.
Monarch spreading his wings to catch a few rays.

At one point he flew to a flower that was so high up Judy had to hold her camera above her head and point down. Despite that, this one came out very nicely, I think.

2014-08-01 08.57.58 monarch butterfly

Were we late for work? Possibly. But seeing a Monarch always makes me feel more optimistic about the day.

49 Comments on “A Royal Photo Shoot

  1. Good to see Monarchs…Interesting how it gravitated toward its own color 🙂 What a good excuse to be late for work!

  2. Until last year there were plenty of monarchs in my garden. This year I’ve seen not a one which makes me sad.

  3. I’d be late for work too if I saw a Monarch! I’ve actually seen a few since we’ve been in Michigan and lots of common milkweed, especially in the dunes. The Midwest is such a critical region for these butterflies in the summer months I hope we see more.

  4. I couldn’t agree more, being a little late is no big deal, those butterflies are! Oh how I wish we had them here. Fantastic pics!xxx

  5. Definitely worth a little delay on the way to work – a great way to start the day! The wings of the Monarch remind me of stained glass windows and the flower is the perfect colour to match. Love the photos – thanks for sharing!

  6. Beautiful shots, Judy! What a treat to see this, even digitally. I do love the color thing happening between the Monarch and the Tithonia – it’s my favorite orange mix so far this summer.

  7. I meant to plant tithonia this year and of course I forgot…. I guess I’m already putting together the list for next year :/
    Beautiful butterfly pictures, I wish I could see a few here, but none so far.

  8. Monarchs and Tithonia make for a great combination!

    Normally we don’t see many Monarchs here until the fall migration. Last year I only saw 2, whereas normally I see dozens. Here’s hoping there are more this year!

    • We saw a few more than two last year, but not many more. This year there seems to be a modest increase. I share your hope for more next year.

  9. Was it very early morning? I find they butterflies stay put more when the cooler morning air keeps them from flying very far. Nice photos and worth your being late to work.

  10. Good to know it was so early. I’ll have to get myself going earlier in the morning. And definitely a valid reason to be a little late to work! I’m not seeing as many monarchs in one place this year, but I seem to see one or two every day or so–in various locations. Of course, I haven’t been to the state parks as much this summer, which is where I saw the most last summer. Hopefully, there will at least be a little improvement in their numbers this year. Judy (and you) took some incredible photos of a nearly perfect specimen on a beautiful, matching plant!

    • We’re hoping to spend a week in northern Wisconsin in mid-September, but I imagine the monarchs will have moved on by then.

  11. Nice photos. Your monarch was indeed cooperative. I usually go running for flower to flower with my camera trying to capture them. If my neighbors saw me, they would think I was crazy.

  12. Fabulous! It is a wonderful flower and you just proved why we all should grow it! They are truly butterfly magnets! The ones I started from seed in June are not yet flowering but I am still optimistic – you see, they instill that!

  13. Wonderful photographs, flowers and butterfly. Absolutely beautiful.
    I have grown some tithonias but they are not flowering yet. And even when they do we have nothing as exquisite as a monarch butterfly to visit them. Lucky you.

  14. Hi Jason, what fantastic photos, I’ve never been able to get up close to butterflies to photograph them, they always flutter away. The only way I’d manage to get similar pictures is if I used glue or a plastic model!

  15. Glad you have your priorities right and took time to enjoy the Monarchs. Had only a couple last year, hope to see a few more this year.

  16. I haven’t seen any monarchs here for two years, so it’s joyful news to know that they are thriving somewhere.

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