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: https://journeynorth.org/tm/monarch/Viceroy1.html)
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!