A rare little gift from Mother Nature
Growing up, I hatched many hundreds of Monarch butterflies, and participated for quite a few years in a tagging program for migration research. Unfortunately I now live in a place where there aren't many of them; the deer ate my milkweed patch a few years ago, and with their numbers dwindling due to habitat loss everywhere, I see fewer every year sad
I saw none this summer till my neighbour gave me her last chrysalis, ready to hatch. (With an electric fence and obsessive garden-tending, she has better luck attracting butterflies.)
Of course then I missed the hatching -- which is really quite magical -- but then had a brainstorm: DOLLS HOLDING BUTTERFLIES!!! grin
It was the middle of the night, and I had no "set" and crappy lighting. Shot a few pix anyway.

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When they are just hatched, they're not ready to fly, so she was pretty easy to handle.

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Saturday, I thought I might get one shot with one doll before she took off. But, it was so #$*^#%!!!* COLD... below about 13C they don't fly. So, I had two whole hours to take pictures, and she pretty much just sat there the whole time.

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Trying to get warm in the sun.

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I think she told the butterfly a secret here...?

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Robyn, as a forest fairy, was going to be my "One Shot".

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I went back in for more dolls! Here's Aislinn.

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Of course Sunsette and Scarlett wanted to get in on the fun.

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Looks like they made friends.

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"Don't you want to go south now?"

The butterfly spent another night inside because it was so cold & windy. Today she's on her way. It's awfully late in the season so I don't know how far she'll get. Of all the hundreds, only one of my tagged butterflies ever showed up in Mexico. I'll have to do some more of these photos next year. The other girls want a chance too! Hopefully it'll be warmer!!!
Thanks for looking! smile
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A rare little gift from Mother Nature - by Alliecat - 10-05-2015, 02:42 PM

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