It kept flying from place to place. I kept following and snapping away.
That shot was kinda cool, but let's try it again with a little better light setting.
Maybe even zoom in a little closer.
Time for a different tree.
And yet another tree.
It finally flew too far for me to continue following.
I try to do my part every year to help the monarch population along (mainly because I think it's fun and interesting). I capture the caterpillars that I find on milkweed plants and keep them until they've eventually become butterflies, then I set them free.
Here's a little cage, made by Courtney's daddy's uncle many years ago. I use it to contain the caterpillars.
Last year Courtney and I searched a lot, but we didn't find a single caterpillar. This year we had better luck, and we found 5 in one day! Here they are, and as you can see, 2 of them have made their chrysalis(es?) already. It will be about 10 days before the first ones hatch.
I think they actually have a better survival rate in captivity like this than in the open. I have rarely ever seen a chrysalis on a milkweed plant. So I hope my little efforts are helping. Because of the terrible decline in population, "environmental groups have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species."
I happened to see a couple more monarchs on Wednesday morning. I think this one was telling me that I needed to pick this muskmelon. :) (We've been eating them during the last week, and they are delicious!)
It's a good thing I had the zoom lens on the camera so I could get this shot from a distance. As soon as I moved closer, it took off. Butterflies must have amazing eyesight!