Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monarch Follow-up

Yesterday I saw my first Monarch Butterfly caterpillar of the season, and, judging from the status of blooming Showy Milkweeds in the area, I suspected a lot of butterfly activity was about to happen.  I hiked out toward Gilson Creek, downstream from Oakland Camp, to an area where I've seen lots of Monarch Butterflies in past summers.  Sure enough, they were flying around like crazy, often in swirling pairs, and I seldom got a chance for a close-up photo.  Then I stumbled across a caterpillar on a milkweed that has a pretty good herd of aphids among other guests.  The top three photos are views of this caterpillar.  Click on the first one for a better view of the aphids.  The fourth photo was the closest I got to a good shot of an adult.   In this same area there were also lots of Narrow-leaf Milkweed and Purple Milkweed.  The bottom photo here is of a pod of Purple Milkweed with a Red Milkweed Bug in residence.  The Narrow-leaf Milkweeds had quite a variety of insect visitors and I'll save those photos for another post.

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