Much more Monarch mania

15 10 2008

Yes, more Monarchs. I can’t help myself. They’re everywhere! I learned a technique from my friend Mary Ellen of Happy Tonics about how to “stalk” Monarchs with a camera. Wait until they have their proboscis inserted into a flower and they become completely distracted by the task at hand—then move in closer, staying as still as possible. They won’t even notice you’re there. This one sure didn’t. I was able to shoot about 50+ images of this Monarch in less than five minutes.

Want to learn more about the senses of a Monarch? Click here.

Here’s a surefire way to attract Monarchs to your garden—plant milkweed!
Mary Ellen sells common milkweed seeds in her eBay store here. Milkweed is the sole food for the Monarch caterpillar. Adult butterflies can feed on other plants such as this butterfly bush, but the caterpillars only eat milkweed.

Mary Ellen and I crossed paths a few years ago when I purchased seeds from her through eBay. This led to a frequent e-mail exchange, and now I do volunteer design and photography for her organization. I design and produce her quarterly 4-page newsletter, Butterflies & Gardens, as well as other marketing materials. You can download the latest issue of the newsletter in pdf format here. I also designed a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Poster for her this past spring.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



4 responses

16 10 2008
Mary Ellen Ryall

Hi Cindy,

I enjoyed looking at your latest monarch butterfly photos. We look forward to publishing some of the butterfly photos in upcoming newsletters. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that your photography was published internationally.

“The Butterfly Observer,” newsletter no. 41, August 2008, p. 17-18, published my article Monarch Butterfly’s Biological Clock Discovered. The article and your photograph of a nectaring monarch on milkweed, appeared in the Autumn 2008 issue. The original article and photograph was published in Happy Tonics “Butterflies and Gardens” in the Spring of 2008.

Congratulations on your latest success. We are so proud of you.

Best wishes,
Mary Ellen Ryall
Executive Director
Happy Tonics

16 10 2008

Just breathtaking!

17 10 2008

Thank you, Phillip!

Hey, how far are you from Huntsville, Alabama?

8 05 2009
Mary Ellen Ryall

Hi Cindy,

I am in a blogging class with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Hayward, Wisconsin. We created a blog for Happy Tonics, Inc. at I will be revamping and edited it as we move forward on behalf of Sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly and Food Safety Issues and Say no to GMO.

Thanks for all your blogging encouragement, photography and publishing expertise for our nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity.

Best wishes,
Mary Ellen

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