Monday, November 28, 2011

DBG Monarchs - Fall 2011

This last weekend marked the end of the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden's Monarch exhibit.  I was blessed to be able to visit it on the 17th of November, at 9:32am.   Why 9:32am?  Well, the exhibit opened at 9:30, and by 10, there were dozens of people in the small greenhouse-like enclosure where they house the butterflies.  At 9:32am, the guides outnumbered the photographers (myself included in the latter).  Below, are several of the better shots I was able to capture.
The monarchs taste with their feet, while both smelling and balancing / flight navigation with their antennae.  If an antennae gets broken / damaged, they fly around in circles, until they starve.
The males have more prominent spots"on the hind wings near the abdomen.
I've got lantana growing in my backyard as well. Irresistible stuff for my flighted friends.
The DBG guides told me that the monarchs mark the milkweed plants on which they are born, and 4 or 5 generations later (after a Canadian migration), if they are the migrating variety, their descendants will return to the exact same milkweed plant to feast and lay their eggs as well.  Pretty remarkable stuff.  I am glad I have a milk weed in my front yard.

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