The Audubon Sanctuary: Monarch Morning!

August 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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August 2 - 1Monarch on milkweed August 2 - 2Three and more! Around 10 am is feeding time for the monarchs; the sun has warmed up the flowers, the nectar is flowing, and the butterflies are flocking to the only milkweed left in bloom at the sanctuary.  All other milkweed has gone to seed, but there are a few flowers along the horse farm fence line.  If you go in the next couple of mornings, park at the sanctuary gate, and step over the rail on either side.  Walk down the hill to the pavilion, and take the path to the right, up to the horse farm.  Turn left at the fence, and the milkweed is on the left, between the second the third nesting boxes.

August 2 - 3Another beauty. August 2 - 8Groundhog from a distance. Upon leaving the butterflies, I walked a different part of the sanctuary this morning, and on my walk I saw more butterflies, Eastern kingbirds, a black swallowtail butterfly, a rabbit, and a groundhog.  


August 2 - 5Photo with the DSLR August 2 - 4Photo with the pocket camera The fall webworms are busy building their tents at the ends of branches, and I came across a walnut tree branch encased in filaments.  It surrounded leaves and walnuts, and caterpillars were busy crawling around inside the webby tent.  I decided this would be a good test of a closeup with my new pocket-sized camera, so I took a shot with my DSLR zoomed in on filaments at the tip of a walnut (photo on left) and another with the pocket camera (photo on right.)  I practiced some more in the house this morning and read a few tips online about how to get sharp focus where I want it to be (and not the camera), and I had more success.

August 2 - 6Chickory flower with pocket camera in macro mode August 2 - 7A cicada I also tried the pocket camera on a chickory flower, and I was pleased with the focus and sharpness.  I used the macro setting on the camera.  Of course, I always edit my photos, so that I can bring out the best parts of each shot.  A cicada also flew to a strand of grass near me, so I used the DSLR to zoom in on it.  The photo with a pocket camera would have been too tiny.  I think walking with both kinds of cameras is going to be a good compromise for me.

In the next few weeks, the goldenrod and ragweed will be in bloom, attracting even more monarchs.  I enjoy watching how the change of seasons affects what lives in and depends on the sanctuary to sustain life.


<Thanks for reading my blog entry, which is part of a personal photography project to bring attention to and to benefit the Fred Archibald Sanctuary in New Market, MD.  The sanctuary is owned and managed by the Audubon Society of Central Maryland.  Copyright 2017 Cam Miller.  All photographs are for sale upon request.>




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