Posted tagged ‘stationary butterfly’

Monarch of the Road

July 2, 2011

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I’ve had an inordinately large number of close encounters with monarch butterflies this summer. This has been in upstate New York, not New York City (not really butterfly territory.)

Sometimes they are just fluttering around in beautifully typical tipsy fashion, but frequently, I’ve happened upon them (sometimes one, sometimes three or four) in an absolutely stationary pose–on the ground, or road, in the corner of a porch, even on a flower. My mind generally jumps to worst case scenarios–that they are dead, injured, sick, and that it is some irreversible effect of global warming.

Then, later, they will sometimes slowly flit away, and I’ll wonder whether they were just resting after all, and whether this is just some facet of butterfly behavior I’ve never paid much attention to before.

I’m not sure if this will happen in the case of the very determined fellow below, whose wing looks genuinely injured. Shortly after making this video, I saw one fluttering down the road, and I ran back to the place I’d last filmed this guy, hoping not to find him. Alas, he was still there, clinging to the tall grass.