Monarch Butterflies at Ellesmere Ravine: August 2020

At the spot where Ellesmere Ave. and Highland Creek intersect, there is a small parking lot and a few short trails.

Visit any meadow in bloom and you will invariably find butterflies flitting about.

Orange Sulphur on Purple Loosestrife
Cabbage White Butterfly on Purple Loosestrife
Cabbage White Butterfly

They are helping our with the pollination of plants. Of the 200,000 species of animals which serve as pollinators, about 1,000 are birds, and bats, and other animals. The remaining 199,000 are insects.

Monarch Butterflies are especially attracted to the numerous Milkweeds found here:

Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Swamp Milkweed
Monarch on Canada Thistle

Some botany:

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Water Horehound (Lycopus americanus)
Water Horehound (Lycopus americanus)
this year’s Phragmites
last year’s Phragmites
Canada Thistle (Cirsium pratense)
Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Wild-cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Thin-leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba)
Thin-leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba)
Thin-leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba)
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Pinkweed (Persicaria pensylvanica)
European Mountain Ash (Sorbus acuparia)
White Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
White Poplar (Populus alba)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Late Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Great Chickweed (Cerastium pubera)
Witch Grass (Panicum capilare)
Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

NATURE POETRY

Bright, bright, restless bright, through the sun-burnt meads,  
Wavers the butterfly;  
Ever across its path a pilot invisible leads  
A sylphid fleet of the thistle’s light and feathery  seeds,  
And August passeth by.                                                   – Edith Matilda Thomas (1854–1925) 

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Monarch Butterflies at Ellesmere Ravine: August 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    What a place–even if looking a bit dry right now. And what beautiful plants and butterflies. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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