One of many great things about the Fox Valley Photography Meet Up group is exploring new places. On a sunny Saturday morning in July I waited for members of the group to show up at the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin. http://www.butterflygardensofwisconsin.com. Jack, one of the owners of this little gem of a place, came out with tall flowers in big pots. As he came by us waiting outside, he stopped and showed us the monarch eggs placed by the butterfly on the underside of the milk weeds’ leaves. His passion for these tiny creatures was immediately evident, and only increased our excitement to be there.
Upon entering the little gift shop area we were given a quick rundown where one of Jack’s daughters taught us how to tell the difference between the male and female monarch butterfly, the male has a black dot on his wings, how they mate and lay eggs, their life cycle, and about their yearly trek to South America in September. Besides getting a chance to photograph these beautiful butterflies it was so interesting to learn more about them, giving me an even greater respect for the wildlife around me. An important thing to note is that besides being killed off by predators, the chemicals we use on our lawns and around our houses are destroying creatures like this, not just the weeds that annoy us. Food for thought.
It was a day I felt very fortunate, to be a part of this moment, to be a part of this photography group, to be in this truly amazing place, and to be able to photograph these gorgeous creatures.
Butterflies mate end to end.
As a female butterfly was laying it’s eggs, Jack’s daughter pointed it out to me and I was able to photograph her while she was laying them.