Monarch Butterfly. Eleven-years ago while driving home from work I saw purple wild flowers on the side of the road at an abandoned golf course in Hillsborough. I pulled over to see if there was a picture. The purple wildflowers attracted dozens of Monarch butterflies providing more colors. I took this image with my favorite 80-400 mm telephoto zoom lens. The hard part was working at the minimum focus distance for the lens (~ 7 feet). I needed to keep stepping back to get the image in focus. One more reason I always have a camera with me.
Every year after that I would check the place at the same time of the year, but never saw as many wildflowers or Monarch Butterflies. The last several years the place became a construction site for a highway bypass and interchange. Now that the construction is complete and the bypass open, it looks like wildflowers may come back. We will see if the Monarch Butterflies come back in the future.
Individual images in the slideshow can be viewed here.
Now that the sun is back out, I noticed a Monarch Butterfly feeding on my small Zinnia flowers. It needs to leave for Mexico pretty soon, as it is starting to get cool at night. I had to use the jpg image, because neither Adobe or Capture One recognize the raw files from the Fuji X-T3 camera.
Update: The latest update to Capture One (11.3) does recognize the raw file. The pink flower is not overblown when Capture One was used to reprocess the image. Also, when I reviewed my image database I found images of Monarch Butterflies from late October last year.
Summertime Nature in New Jersey. Sourland Mountain Preserve
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Joe Pye Weed Bloom at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 250, 500 mm, f/5, 1/600 sec). Lens mounted on a monopod.
I’ve visited the Sourland Mountain Preserve several times after returning from Iceland. There are a couple of patches of Joe Pye weeds that the Yellow (Tiger) Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail butterflies are attracted. I did see one Clearwing Hummingbird Butterfly, but wasn’t quick enough to get a picture. I only saw one thistle in bloom. Didn’t see any Praying Mantis (butterfly predators). Also, only one Monarch Butterfly.
The Monarch Butterfly is back in my wildflower garden. It likes the Zinnia flowers. Images taken with three different camera lens combos (Nikon D5 camera and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens; Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/1.4 lens; and Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens).