Every wildlife photographer needs a Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) image in their portfolio. I was thinking the other day that I did not have one in my collection. So, I did a search within my Lightroom catalog and this image came up! I had forgotten all about the Monarch Butterflies that gathered in the Fairchild Botanical Garden when I visited there in February of this year. This is the same place where I captured the Egret that was part of my blog earlier this year.
The Monarch Butterfly is probably the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species. They are also famous for their long migrations. Only Monarchs born in late summer or early fall make the migration, and they make only one round trip. By the time next year’s winter migration begins, several summer generations will have lived and died and it will be last year’s migrators’ great grandchildren that make the trip. Yet somehow these new generations know the way, and follow the same routes their ancestors took—sometimes even returning to the same tree. Truly amazing!
This image was taken with my Sony A7 II DSLR using my Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. I used a Metabones IV adapter to enable the use of Canon lenses on a Sony camera. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/5.6, shutter speed at 1/320th of a second and the ISO set at 100.
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