Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dogfighting Monarchs

Pics of monarchs scrapping in the air for liatris nectar, and any nearby females, perhaps. One more round of eggs this month, then off to Mexico in mid September (for the butterflies, not me).






































That front monarch is nearing the end of its lifespan, but the one in back looks freshly minted.














Sunset backlights the monarch on liatris ligulistylis. I counted 6 monarchs, mostly male, yesterday evening and again this morning. This is likely a record for me. As I stood out in the garden a chain of 3, then one of 4 butterflies zoomed past me within a few feet. If you can't live humbled and in rapture of such moments then you may never know how tightly we are all woven together, how one thread depends so much on the one next to it, how fragile and yet how strong we are when we live rightly on this world.

14 comments:

Ginny said...

I will never stop being in awe when I see a butterfly. I hope one day a Monarch will visit my garden.
I was just reading about the butterfly effect over the weekend - you express it so well when in your last sentence - "one thread depends so much on the one next to it".

Meredith said...

What a beautiful post. The photos were fine -- but the words! You are truly gifted, Benjamin. Thanks for sharing that wonder, that joy, that sense of the sacred found sometimes in observing the real world, with us today.

debsgarden said...

Fantastic photos and beautiful words! To me these really are the kings of the butterfly world. Exquisite and fragile, like stained glass.

Ellada said...

Hello,
Great photos of Monarch. And I know how difficult it is to take a picture of butterfly.

dining set said...

This post is so amazing. I was so stunned in the pictures of butterflies. They are so beautiful and so peaceful. I wish I can capture images just like that.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Ginny--Where are you at? Monarchs are most everywhere, except maybe the mountain west in less numbers.
Meredith--Hey, wait until my memoir gets published, that has some really beautiful words in it! :)
DG--Kings among kings here, with so many various species this year, and so many spiders and flies.
Ellada--I spent two weeks trying to get these pics, and they are still blurry! :)
DS--You can, you can....

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I think I need to stop getting upset about my boys fighting, if even butterflies fight...
Great shots!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Great pics Benjamin.

I love the movement butterflies bring to the garden.

I know Monarch's are close to your heart and you seem to do a good job of providing a nectar 'bar' for them.

As to being delicate, I wonder considering the enormous journey they make.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Tatyana--Just as long as your boys aren't also mating....
Rob--Close to my heart? I have 20 cats inside now, and maybe 20 more eggs ready to hatch. I am INSANE. A garden without butterflies is like a chocolate without caramel in the middle. Eh.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I planted scads of milkweed, but have attracted no monarchs. Maybe it isn't the right time of year for them to be in Northern California...

Who knows.

I do know that your images are lovely.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are lucky to have so much action in your garden Benjamin. Here I see them flutter by. Occasionally nectaring on plants. One year we had a crysalis on a tomato. That was an odd thing. A wasp parasitized it so we didn't get to see it emerge. It grew to almost bursting out. Sigh~~ Nice shots of the dueling Monarchs.

MrBrownThumb said...

Awesome pics.

garden girl said...

Beautiful photos and sentiments Benjamin.

Shyrlene said...

Benjamin - the photos of the Monarchs in flight are simply breathtaking. What a journey.