Flight of the Monarchs
I took advantage of a beautiful early autumn day to take a trip up the coast to explore a wildlife sanctuary (Petit Manan, more on this in another post), and to visit the “other” part of Acadia National Park known as Schoodic Peninsula. Schoodic is actually located on the mainland, 14 miles by ferry but approximately 50 miles by car.
At a stop along the Park Loop Road in Schoodic there is a beautiful area right along the water that during the summer is filled with wild roses and blueberries, and in the fall, wild asters. With the bright sun and warm temperatures these asters were attracting dozens of migrating monarch butterflies fattening themselves up in preparation for their long journey to Mexico where they breed then die so the cycle can repeat itself in the spring.
I encountered two older gentlemen who were actually counting birds and butterflies. They carried a variety of binoculars and scopes, as well as their little notebooks for recording their findings. Even after talking to them, I’m still not quite clear on how you manage to not count the same butterfly more than once!
These guys and gals proved to be elusive subjects, but I did manage to get a few good shots of this one as he or she took a nice long drink of nectar. Notice the bee on the left, these flowers were attractive to all sorts of critters.
Then just as I was about ready to call it a day, I found three butterflies feeding that I was able to fit in the same frame.
And finally, a shot of the general view and terrain I enjoyed while watching the butterflies. Not a bad way to pass an hour…….or was it two?