Male Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Russ Nature Reserve, Beavercreek, Ohio
This is an image of a male monarch butterfly resting on a prairie plant. Monarchs populations have been on the decline for decades now which has proven problematic. They pollinate on native flowers such as milkweed and fly thousands of miles every Autumn down south to Mexico. This is quite fascinating to observe all these Monarchs in the sky that simply know when to migrate to warmer parts of the Earth. In my local area as well as many others, there are Monarch tagging events every September to track and research their migration patterns over time.
Taken with a 150-600mm lens, this butterfly was a fair distance in from the prairie trail. The zoom factor allowed for a close up image such as here. While resting it did not seem bothered as I slowly moved closer and closer. Experimenting with really tight shots, I was not satisfied at how it cut off the plant the Monarch landed on. This vertical composition gives enough detail to know what is happening in the scene. After many patient minutes, the Monarch was well rested and proceeded on its journey.
© 2018 Ryan L. Taylor Photography. All Rights Reserved.