Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Looking For A Queen

I strolled through a large patch of milkweed. Looking at each plant I looked for leaves that had been chewed on or eaten.It is so exciting to find a Monarch caterpillar. One can see where it has eaten one leaf on the bottom right. They have a voracious appetite. Studies I have worked on are showing an increase of a population that was drastically decreased by forestry and farming practices in their winter home of Mexico.One study I have worked with is a tagging program , a project supporting a migratory study at the University of Kansas. I have worked with this for over twenty years. Last years photos I got of them got me tagged as "The Butterfly Whisperer." I watch and follow these Flying Flowers all the time. Their wings whisper soft messages of happiness, out on the prairie.
Adult Monarch Butterfly
Toad Lily, Iowa native plant

Pale Purple Coneflower
Shooting Star
White Pale False Indigo
Blue Vervain

Halloween Pennant

Bee Balm
Color everywhere
Whorled Milkweed

I like the tiny moth sitting on top of the bottom lily

Gray-headed Coneflower


  1. Flying flowers is an apt description. I have an unruly Lantana I don't trim back. The sea of butterflies would be disturbed. Great photos.

  2. Even the picture of that absolutely ugly caterpillar is a good one. I have always shuddered when I see those. For some reason they repulse me. But as always I love all your photos.

  3. Lovely shots of these summertime flowers!

  4. Any native prairie you see is usually thick with flowers. It's the same in the arctic and above the tree line. Very few people realize how beautiful these places are.

  5. Fantastic shots of the caterpillar and the adult Monarch. I share your love of those special butterflies. Glad to hear that their populations are recovering.

  6. I love the variety you see on the prairie & I will remember that very poetic phrase for the butterflies, " Their wings whisper soft messages of happiness, out on the prairie!

  7. Hi Steve - wonderful to see - the caterpillar looks so well fed - and don't they eat ... gorgeous seeing the flowers and insects and your meadow lark ... cheers Hilary

  8. Butterfly Whisperer. I love it!

  9. beautiful! your summer wildflowers are our spring ones!

  10. I like trying to learn the wildflowers through your blog. You always know what everything is.

  11. Beautiful photos. I love monarch butterflies. They always make me think of stained glass.

  12. I had to look for the moth on the lily, with his coloring he looked like a piece of dried leaf.


Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!