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Monarch Butterflies

Last year during the first week of September we drove over to Fontenac State Park. The park is located on the west side of the Mississippi River along Lake Pepin. After hiking the trail along the river we encountered a large number of Monarch Butterflies feeding on Goldenrod plants. There were probably in excess of thirty Monarchs in a small area. The photograph on the right was taken last year.

 

Fontenac State Park

Yesterday I called the park to see if the Monarchs were gathering this year. The ranger said there were some around but she had not been out on the trails and no one had reported large numbers of them. They did have large numbers of Swallowtails in the park a couple of weeks ago and some of them were still around. It was a nice day so we decided to take a drive to the park and hope there were enough butterflies around to photograph.

 

Giant Swallowtail

We drove over to Stockholm then took The Great River Road south along the Mississippi River to Pepin, Nelson then across the river to Wabasha. We saw over twenty eagles flying and on the ground on the way to Wabasha. In Wabasha we stopped for lunch at The Olde Triangle Pub where enjoyed some hardy Irish stew.

 

 

Giant Swallowtail

We then drove on to Fontenac State Park. We didn’t see many Monarchs as we drove through the park to the parking area but that was also true of last year. We parked and walked to the location where the Monarchs were they gathered last year but there were only three or four feeding on the goldenrod. We decide to walk one of the trails out into the prairie were we started to encounter Monarchs and some Swallowtails. Just off the road we found three Monarchs and a Humming Bird feeding.

 

 

Monarch Butterfly

We spent several hours walking through the prairie area photographing Butterflies Monarchs. The prairie was mostly bluestem and several varieties of goldenrod with enough thistles around in to add some variety. We found a nice combination of Monarchs and Swallowtails feeding on the goldenrod thistle plants in the prairie.

 

It was a nice relaxing day with lots of butterflies, fluffy clouds and sun.

 

There are a few more butterfly photos from the day on my website.

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