Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mono Monarch Mania

So, there we were minding our own business, doing nature study. As planned, we were drawing the young Southern magnolia in our backyard in watercolor pencil. Suddenly, pandemonium erupted!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a bright orange flash. It wasn't the red, wobbly flight of a cardinal. Nor was it an orange leaf drifting to the ground. It glided more gracefully. My heart pounded when I realized a monarch butterfly had gently landed in the butterfly bushes in front of my beloved camellia.

I scampered frantically into the house and grabbed my cheap camera, which was set to four-shot sequences. The butterfly must have realized I was stalking it because I scared it, and it too frantically fluttered around trying to avoid that crazy woman. I pointed the camera at random spots and came up with a couple of cool shots (out of a bunch of duds) that I couldn't have planned better.

The monarch finally settled down, as did my heart and I took a couple of pictures of it drinking nectar.

Then, I drew Pamela into the scene and we watched the butterfly until it left. Tomorrow, we will draw pictures in our nature notebooks! When we returned to the house, I went to the regional checklist for my county at Butterflies and Moths of North America. Alas! The monarch, a migrant for our area, is not listed, so I submitted a sighting as a monarch butterfly. It lacks the black line on the hind wings, which its copycat the viceroy butterfly sports. And, ladies and gentleman, we have a confirmed monarch, and BAMONA now includes in the listing of butterflies for our county!


Bright Side of Life said...

Love Monarch Butterflies! We had a bush (can't remember the name off hand)where the caterpillars would make their cocoons..... we would then watch them grow and then emerge... Beautiful sight to behold!

walking said...


Stephanie said...

Your writing is such a treat, Tammy. I recently posted about monarchs too, and I've been thinking about planting milkweed in our yard this spring. P and I have a small butterfly garden with some bright red bee balm that attracts hummingbirds. But no milkweed!

walking said...

Stephanie, I remember asking my neighbors in this very rural, farming community if they knew where any milkweed grows. He replied, "That's a weed. We got rid of it all."