Patterns In Orange And Black

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

Lantana and Monarch (detail)

A handful of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) arrived to the garden a week ago. Most often I have observed them dancing between the swamp sunflower and butterfly bush where it is difficult for me to get close.

This afternoon I set out to photograph three monarchs as they fed on Lantana camara (Common lantana) in the southern border.

Lantana and Monarch

They stayed put until I tried to move in, then each flew up high, away and settled again a few feet further, often on the opposite side of the fence where the lantana peeks through. When I switched to video the one in my viewfinder sat perfectly still until it sensed I had turned off the camera. I had to laugh.

I chose a few of the photographs and cropped them to reveal some of the detail.

Lantana and Monarch – 1

Lantana and Monarch – 1 detail

Lantana and Monarch – 2

Lantana and Monarch – 2 detail

Lantana and Monarch -3

Lantana and Monarch – 3 detail

34 thoughts on “Patterns In Orange And Black

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The strong pattern and color makes it easy even for me to identify these butterflies. Reminds me I bought a book about abstract patterns in nature years ago–I need to search around for it. Have a good weekend Christina!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Judy, glad you enjoyed the photos of the Monarchs. I’m sorry they haven’t been visiting your area in two years, but hope they’ll show up again for you one day.

  1. bittster

    Orange never looked better, perfect for the season! Glad you’re seeing monarchs, we’ve had a steady trickle coming through over the last few weeks so I suspect you’ll be seeing them for a while yet.

  2. Judy

    Susie, that last detailed photo is extraordinary. Wish I could get some lantana growing. I had mine in pots this year. It did fine, but Cindy hated it.

  3. Annette

    I first saw this butterfly in New Zealand. They are so pretty and they seem to love lantana which makes them look even better. great pics, Susie 🙂

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Annette. I’d always thought of the monarch as a strictly North American butterfly. Turns out the range is indeed broader. Interesting .

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We usually don’t have many monarchs, only a handful. This year there were a few more than usual and for a longer period of days. After a rainy four days there was only one monarch in the garden yesterday.


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