monarch butterfly on butterfly bush

Here’s a nice photo of a monarch butterfly that Bennett took this last fall. We have a butterfly bush that has really grown a lot this last summer, and it definitely lives up to its name. Yellow swallowtail butterflies, skippers, hummingbird moths, bumble bees, and all sorts of wasps and other insects swarm around the plant. As summer turns to fall, Monarch butterflies stop by on their way through to Mexico to fuel up on the nectar from the butterfly bush.

Monarch butterflies are more difficult to photograph than the yellow swallowtails, because they’re more skittish. It’s fairly easy to get close to the swallowtails, but monarchs move away as soon as a photographer comes even within five or six feet of them. It’s necessary to stop and stand still, then inch forward towards the butterfly bush. The monarch will take off and do a circle or two around the area before coming back to the bush. It might take a minute, but they do come back. By that time, hopefully, we’ve managed to get close enough with our cameras so we can take some good pictures. It takes patience.

Look for this monarch and other insects to make it into the Insect gallery on the Tangent Graphics website. The online gallery is slowly taking shape, and we hope to have links up soon so you can buy copies of our photographs.