Monarch butterfly - iPhone photo by Adra Fisher
Monarch but­ter­fly — iPhone pho­to by Adra Fisher (Click to enlarge)

As a fol­low-up to my recent “Monarch Watch” post, I’m hap­py to report that on Saturday, August 13, at approx­i­mate­ly 2:15 p.m., two mag­nif­i­cent monarch but­ter­flies were spot­ted float­ing among my zinnias.

Had I not stepped out the back door to offer a glass of water to my lawn-mow­ing hus­band, I might have missed them. While stand­ing there wait­ing for him to drain and hand back the glass, I caught sight of the grace­ful pair just a few feet to my left. They were lit­er­al­ly glow­ing like sun­lit stained glass, glid­ing lazi­ly from bloom to bloom, per­fect in every way. The noise of the mow­er and our pres­ence did not appear to affect them. They looked serene, unhur­ried, and most endear­ing­ly, like they couldn’t care less that my ragged zin­nia patch is in dire need of dead­head­ing (it’s August and I’m tired, alright?) Apparently, mon­archs are not only gor­geous, they’re non­judg­men­tal. What’s not to love about these amaz­ing creatures?

Beholding these two beau­ties made me for­get all about my hard-work­ing hus­band, who roared away behind the push mow­er while I glee­ful­ly set out to ver­i­fy that what I was wit­ness­ing were actu­al­ly mon­archs and not viceroys, since the two species are often confused.

After mov­ing in for a clos­er look, I was con­vinced they were indeed mon­archs — there were no black lines cross­ing the post-medi­an hind­wing, and their move­ments were grace­ful and undu­lat­ing. Textbook iden­ti­fy­ing fea­tures. (Check out this link to see the dif­fer­ences between mon­archs and viceroys, which hap­pen to be Kentucky’s state but­ter­fly:

Photographs were in order, so I grabbed my iPhone and start­ed shoot­ing. A slight breeze made focus­ing tricky, and I nev­er got a shot with wings extend­ed, but I did get a decent close-up, which I want­ed to share as proof that we still have mon­archs here in Clark County — at least for now.

For more info and tips on how we can keep migrat­ing monarch pop­u­la­tions com­ing back, see my pre­vi­ous post of August 2. And on behalf of migrat­ing mon­archs every­where, thanks for read­ing — and caring!

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    Adra Fisher grew up in Winchester, moved away in her ear­ly 20s and returned a quar­ter of a cen­tu­ry lat­er. She enjoys all types of art and encour­ag­ing oth­ers to live creatively.