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Category Archives: Butterfly Photography

Driving through Crex Meadows we found about a dozen Monarch Butterflies.

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We have been remodeling the house for the past couple of weeks so most of my photography has been limited to the farm. However, there are lots of interesting things to photograph. The prairie has quite a few wildflowers, Butter-and-eggs, Canadian Goldenrod, Evening Primrose, Purple Coneflowers, Wild Catnip, Black-eyed Susans, and my favorite. I like because, with judicious mowing, I can photography it from early June until frost.

White Alfalfa

 

There are also an abundance of butterflies in the prairie. I have allowed a large number of milkweed plants to grow and I am seeing more Monarch Butterflies than I’ve seen in the past. There are also sulphurs, Red Admirals, Great Spangled Fritillaries and a few others.

Red Admiral

Monarch Butterfly on Alfalfa

Of course there are still summer birds around although some of them have already left. The Eastern Bluebirds and Red-breasted Grosbeaks are now gone for the season. I have at least one family of Baltimore Orioles visiting the feeder. This is the first time they have stayed around longer than a couple of weeks. In the past month they have eaten over a gallon of grape jelly. I’ve noticed several other birds partaking of the jelly as well.  I have quite a few House Finches and American Goldfinches visiting the feeder. The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are the most abundant birds at the feeders right now and they are going through about several gallons of sugar water every week. Goldfinches and the house finches have been feeding on some catnip that I planted.

More shots from the last few weeks on the farm can be found on my website.

After leaving Scenic we drove on to Hermosa. The fall colors were very good as we approached Hermosa but due to road construction we were not able to get any photos. From Hermosa to the park the colors were also very good. More photos from Custer State Park can be found on my website.

When we arrived in the park we stopped at the new visitors center. They have an IMAX theatre at the center and the film depicting the park is well worth watching. They also have some butterfly gardens and they were attracting lots of butterflies. I believe these are American Ladies.

The leaves at the visitors center were not quite at their peak.

While my wife was filling up the water bottles I walked over to the Game Lodge Campground and took a few photos.

 

Generally we visit Perrot State Park in the Spring and in the fall but we had some time and the need to finish a book we were listening to on the car CD so we drove down to  Perrot State Park for a hike to the overlook of the Mississippi River.

 

 

 

 

There were a lot of dragonflies around. I had my macro lens on the camera so it was a challenge to get close enough to them to get a photograph.

Common Whitetail

Common Pondhawk

There were also some butterflies around but I didn’t have much luck photographing them.

Aphrodite Fritillary

There were also a variety of wildflowers blooming.

Goat’s Beard

Butterfly Weed

It has been a strange year on the farm for Monarch Butterflies. It was mid July before I saw the first one. I’ve only seen a few since. I’ve only found one Monarch Caterpillar so far this year. Last year I was overrun with Monarchs and Monarch Caterpillars.

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Butterfly and goldenrod

Monarch Butterfly and goldenrod

When we arrived in Sioux Falls it was very windy and cold so we decided to drive down to Sertoma Park and visit the Butterfly house. We were lucky that we were the only ones in the butterfly house for quite a while.

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I had been noticing quite a few Monarch Butterflies out in the prairie so I went looking for caterpillars. I found three of them late in the day. They didn’t seem to be moving much and appeared to have found a place to rest for the evening.

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We have visited Sioux Falls S.D. a number of times but never visited the Sertoma Butterfly House. I had it on my list for this trip. It was a great place to spent a couple of hours photographing butterflies.

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They also have some Button Quail running around. You had to watch your step because they were always underfoot. It turns out they have an important role to play. Apparently they eat the ants who prey on the butterflies.

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In the past few weeks I’ve found a variety of butterflies around the farm. About the only flower blooming right not is the Daisy Fleabane.

American Lady

American Lady

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Cabbage White

Cabbage White

Orange Sulphur

Orange Sulphur

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take a stroll through the prairie on my farm. I had my macro lens on and thought I might be able to get some shots of the insects feeding on the last of the summer flowers. As I approached a large patch of Daisy Fleabane I noticed it was covered with bees so I started taking photographs of them. I then noticed that there was a Monarch Butterfly feeding on the Fleabane. Then I saw another Monarch and soon I noticed there was a half dozen of them. I was afraid I would disturb them trying to photograph them with my macro lens so I went back into the house and switched to my 200-500mm birding lens. I spent several hours in the afternoon photographing the Monarchs. This was the most monarchs I have seen in several years.

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