That's not really what happened. That sentiment just makes a better lede than, I finally found a cooperative monarch to pose for me.
The female monarch, as identified by a Facebook friend, was feeding on the Mexican sunflowers last week. In fact, most of the photos in this post were all of the one butterfly.
I had spotted two monarchs earlier in the season, but they didn't stick around for photos. I am holding out hope that maybe migration hasn't gotten into full swing yet and I will soon see a higher number of the regal black and orange butterflies.
However, the monarch has made headlines lately and not for a good reason. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature added the butterfly to its “red list” of threatened species and categorized it as “endangered."
While my sightings of monarchs are limited, the number of fritillaries feeding on the garden flowers seemed to have increased this season.
I also noticed several eastern tiger swallowtails this season. Some were starting to look a little worn.
According to my observations, spicebush swallowtails seemed to be doing well. They were both sighted in the woodlands and on a variety of garden flowers.
Meanwhile, the bumblebees continued to relish feeding on the sunflowers. Whether or not they are truly "bee-lligerent" towards butterflies is only a question Mother Nature can answer.
That's just the nature of things 'round here.
"The Nature of Things" features the writings and photographs of Anna Applegate, who is a lifelong resident of Pinegrove Township, Venango County. She is a graduate of Cranberry High School and Clarion University. After a 15-year career in the local news industry, she made a change and now works at a steel finishing plant in Sandycreek Township. She is a avid lover of animals and nature, and a gifted photographer.