So excited to see a Monarch butterfly today! I was mowing in the horse pasture and this one stayed around feeding from the golden rod flowers. It waited five minutes while I climbed off the tractor and went to the house for my camera so I could get a shot. Soon after I took this photo, the butterfly flew high in the air and left the area.
Growing up on the farm, these butterflies were common. You could find a cocoon and admire the gold beading around the edges. Or watch a brightly striped caterpillar devour milkweed leaves. In recent years my sightings have dwindled. Last year I didn’t spot any Monarchs. I am hoping this sighting is a sign they are returning to us. I’ve been cultivating wild milkweed the past few years so the caterpillars will have plenty of food if adults arrive to lay eggs.
I’ve also sold milkweed seeds all over the country for a token cost to encourage others to plant milkweed for the insects. The Butterflies and Moths of North America website keeps a record of insect sightings. It is encouraging to see so many Monarch views recorded. I submitted my sighting so there will be one recorded for Somerset County in Maine.
Here is a link to the Monarch butterfly page on that website to view the map and table of sightings: Butterflies and Moths of North America
A monarch butterfly visited today, too! This one was on the butterfly bush by our front door. Maybe the same insect as yesterday? Who knows? I hope not. I wish there are many monarchs flying around the farm! I wanted this one to spread its wings so I could photograph the tops, but it didn’t cooperate.