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).
My first Monarch Butterfly of the season. I am glad I planted this small section of wildflowers right next to the house, as the other sections have been devastated by “mile-a-minute” vine and deer. The deer like to munch on the plants before the flowers can bloom. I am going to have to go back to an electric fence. As soon as I saw the Monarch Butterfly, I ran back inside and grabbed the first camera I could find with a telephoto zoom lens. When I see more, I will come back with a macro lens.
I stopped at the nearby Sourland Mountain Preserve to see if any butterflies have arrived. I only found some really tiny butterflies (or are they moths?). While walking down the gas line trail, I noticed a deer watching me from the bushes. It looks like she has a wound on her head between the eyes that was covered with flies. Back home, there was a wary groundhog, a bull frog in my pond, and a young fawn going through my wildflower garden eating the buds before they can bloom.
Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.