Butterfly Weekend: Monarch

Photo by Chris Bosak
Monarch on milkweed, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

It’s been a great year for monarchs, at least in the meadows I’ve been walking in. That is particularly good news because of the dire predictions about the monarch population that surfaced a few years ago. From what I’ve read, monarchs are more plentiful this year on both their summer and winter grounds. Let’s hope that trend continues for this iconic species.

Here’s a monarch all covered in pollen.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Monarch covered in pollen, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

Kicking off ‘Butterfly Weekend’ with this beauty

Photo by Chris Bosak Eastern tiger swallowtail, Brookfield, CT, summer 2019.

Here’s the first of many butterfly photos I took this week during walks at Happy Landings in Brookfield, Connecticut. The vast meadows are home to a great number and variety of butterflies.

I’m kicking off the Birds of New England unofficial Butterfly Weekend with this shot because the butterfly’s wings are still perfectly intact. Many butterflies have wings that are damaged due to predators, weather or any other number of factors. These wings are as yet unscathed.

For the Birds column: Milkweed and Monarchs

Photo by Chris Bosak Milkweed flowers bud in a meadow in Stamford, July 2015.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Milkweed flowers bud in a meadow in Stamford, July 2015.

Here’s my latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in The Hour (Norwalk, CT) and The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire.

Why do so many people consider milkweed a useless weed?

Perhaps because it is so prevalent (or at least used to be). Perhaps because it grows in vacant parking lots and in cracks in sidewalks. Perhaps because that’s what we’ve been told and trained to think all these years. Or it could be because is has the word ‘weed’ right in its name.

Whatever the reason it’s time to change the way we think about milkweed. Here are some quick facts about the beautiful and valuable plant:

Click here for the rest of the column.