08.08.2014 At last!!!!

I think most of the visitors to this blog are aware of the sinking numbers of Monarchs.  I have seen very few over the last few years and none this year at all.  Until last night.  As the light faded ahead of a small weather event, I went out to close the windows in my car and checked my milkweed plants along the driveway.  Someone had been nibbling on leaves the last few days and left telltale frass, so I have been hopeful….. and there it was under a leaf near the bottom of the plant.  I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, but I would have was I.

Monarch-Caterpillar-080714-600WebYesterday, I claimed that I almost never shoot without a tripod.  Liar, liar, pants on fire.  In the dimming light and the slight breeze, I chose my 40D and 100 macro, with the old 550EX flash at -1 stop reduced and lay down on the ground.  Maybe today I’ll get a chance in better light, but I am still happy to have got this shot and even happier that we have at least one cool cat in the yard….and this is the sort of cat that Murphy approves as well.  🙂

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Butterflies, Closeup Photography, Fauna, Insect Behavior, Lepidoptera, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to 08.08.2014 At last!!!!

  1. Andrew says:

    The things we do for a photo. It’s a grand shot, Steve. Let’s hope there are more to come. Is this it’s only LFP?


  2. Anthony Mobilio says:

    Fascinating, and thank you!


  3. Jim in IA says:

    Good news! I will be adding milkweed to my backyard area.


  4. Ladybugg says:

    Gorgeous shot and well worth the contortion.
    Yesterday, for the first time in several years on our Northern California property a gigantic swallowtail flew in and stopped for coffee on my burnt yellow lantana plant. That’s why your post today caught my attention. The Lepidoptera !


  5. Just Rod says:

    Glad to see at least one of these beauties is gracing your milkweed. We have seen about three monarchs this year, none last year and there were dozens and dozens in previous years.
    See, who needs a tripod? 🙂


    • I am not fooling myself into thinking this indicates a mass rebound, but seeing even one is encouraging, Rod.
      I most definitely need a tripod, but once in a great while I can manage without one.


  6. benrowef64 says:

    Great shot, nice and sharp and great colours.


  7. Yeah, even with your pants on fire! 🙂 What a treat, to see this cool cat in your garden. I have a smattering of swamp milkweed running through my garden, and i’ve been seeing females visiting them so I’m hoping to see a caterpillar or two too.


    • I’d rather see a caterpillar than a two too. 😉

      This morning I found a milkweed tussock caterpillar, but no pictures. If you saw females I do hope they left you some presents. Both for you and Danaus plexippus posterity.


  8. It’s interesting how the exclamation marks in your title mimic the black stripes on the caterpillar.


  9. That is so amazing, I love the detail you captured. You really created and interesting and fun image.


  10. shoreacres says:

    When I visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art last fall, they had this sign along their nature path. Judging from your photo, they did a fair job of duplicating the caterpillar in chalk.

    Just by chance, the Writers’ Almanac featured a poem by Robert Bly last week, called “The Caterpillar.”It’s such a great prose/poem – your caterpillar would have done as well for his model.


  11. Very nice indeed. The milkweed around here is just in fruit … I will keep a close watch on visitors. Beautiful, crisp, shot. D


    • Thanks!
      I have not seen the larva again, but have seen several Milkweed Tussocks. Moths and not at all losing numbers. I hope you get to see and possibly host some successful larvae and adults.


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