Could Monarchs motivate you to get out and make photos? By now you’ve probably heard about the decline in the Monarch population. Locally, our mayor created a Monarch Pledge and allocated resources to help save the Monarch. The plight of the Monarch has caused me to think more about flowers and insects this week! So look for related photos over the next few days.
I’m trying to do my part to help the struggling Monarch by planting flowers that attract pollinators. For three years I have watched to see how many of my Monarch caterpillars actually make it to become a butterfly. I am typically much more interested in getting photos of the flowers than actually taking care of the plants–I don’t have much of a green thumb. However, Tropical milkweed has voluntarily sprung up all over my gardens. I know this isn’t the most desirable species of milkweed and I promise all the naturalists that I will attempt to plant native species–but honestly, Tropical milkweed grows where others do not.
I recently counted over 25 Monarch caterpillars on the plants! Wow! Now I am motivated to plant more (native) plants that can help other butterflies. Coincidentally, I might also end up with more subjects for flower photography.
One way the Monarch has helped motivate me to get out and make photos while improving my skills, is in documenting the activity in my gardens. I’ve captured images of butterflies sitting on the plants as they lay eggs. I know this because I checked afterwards. I also have shots of caterpillars of various sizes. Luckily, I was able to capture a butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis. The skills required to photograph these wonderful creatures are not unlike those for macro and sports photography–especially if you try to catch a butterfly in flight. I’ll expand on this in a later post but right now, I’m heading outside.
If you want to learn more about how you might help save the Monarch, then visit Monarch Gateway.