A Royal Photo Shoot

Friday morning there was a Monarch butterfly nectaring on the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). It seemed so intent on the Tithonia that I was able to get pretty close and took a picture with my phone. Judy then came out, saw the Monarch, then ran back in for her good camera.

Monarch butterfly nectaring on Tithonia.
Monarch butterfly nectaring on Tithonia.

I posted my cell phone picture on Facebook, but at the risk of being duplicative I wanted to post some of her pictures on the blog.

In this picture you get a good view of the butterfly using his proboscis for feeding.
In this picture you get a good view of the butterfly using his proboscis for feeding.

This particular Monarch was remarkably cooperative. He would stay on the same flower for a long time. Even when he flew off, he would land on another Tithonia flower within a few seconds.

2014-08-01 08.53.32 monarch butterfly

They really do love Mexican sunflower.

Monarch spreading his wings to catch a few rays.
Monarch spreading his wings to catch a few rays.

At one point he flew to a flower that was so high up Judy had to hold her camera above her head and point down. Despite that, this one came out very nicely, I think.

2014-08-01 08.57.58 monarch butterfly

Were we late for work? Possibly. But seeing a Monarch always makes me feel more optimistic about the day.

49 Comments on “A Royal Photo Shoot”

  1. Definitely worth a little delay on the way to work – a great way to start the day! The wings of the Monarch remind me of stained glass windows and the flower is the perfect colour to match. Love the photos – thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful shots, Judy! What a treat to see this, even digitally. I do love the color thing happening between the Monarch and the Tithonia – it’s my favorite orange mix so far this summer.

  3. Good to know it was so early. I’ll have to get myself going earlier in the morning. And definitely a valid reason to be a little late to work! I’m not seeing as many monarchs in one place this year, but I seem to see one or two every day or so–in various locations. Of course, I haven’t been to the state parks as much this summer, which is where I saw the most last summer. Hopefully, there will at least be a little improvement in their numbers this year. Judy (and you) took some incredible photos of a nearly perfect specimen on a beautiful, matching plant!

  4. Wonderful photographs, flowers and butterfly. Absolutely beautiful.
    I have grown some tithonias but they are not flowering yet. And even when they do we have nothing as exquisite as a monarch butterfly to visit them. Lucky you.

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