Wild Weds. 42/52 Withered and Tattered

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Normally we see gorgeous, perfect Monarch butterflies being shown on blogs, and photo sharing sites, but there’s another side of their lives that shows us just how amazing and remarkable these insects are in addition to beautiful.

This Adult Male Monarch Butterfly has survived the wind, rain, and maybe snow. It probably avoided predators along its arduous migration, and perhaps it lost some of its wings being snagged on thorns.

Monarch Butterfly-Male

The average lifecycle of a Monarch Butterfly is 6-8 weeks.  From the egg stage, then the catepillar stage, to the chrysalis stage is only 27-28 days. At 28 days the Monarch Butterfly emerges from its cocoon a fully grown monarch and lives 2-6 weeks.  That’s remarkable!  From that point its whole raison d’être is to mate so there will be eggs to lay so there will be the next generation of monarch butterflies.

I love how clever he is by landing here on this withered and tattered Showy Daisy-like flowers. He’s trying to blend in I believe.

I made this image in May in Santa Clara County. It’s back to my archives this week because I have been outside my box, and doing a bit of portraiture the last two week-ends.  Two weeks ago a girl-friend and I teamed up to do a Maternity Session for some dear friends, and I’ve been working on those images, and this past Sunday afternoon I did a Wedding Invitation/Save the Date session for Baby Girl, and the Handsome Surveyor.

I can’t show any images from the Maternity Session as the couple hasn’t seen them, and I don’t have their permission to share yet, but Baby Girl and The Handsome Surveyor said it would be alright to share one image; one that won’t be used on the invitation.

People photography really isn’t my thing, and retouching even less so, but I do like this image.  Of course, I am just a wee bit biased. 😃  I will probably go back and tweak this image after I get the Maternity Set done for my friends, and Baby Girl’s wedding invitation image done.  I’m not used to working on the clock so to speak, so I’m feeling the pressure!

Haakma Zajac Session 04

I hope your week is going well, and you all have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| top image shot w/ Nikkor 200-500mm| bottom image shot w/ Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D lens at f/5.6| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

42 thoughts on “Wild Weds. 42/52 Withered and Tattered

  1. Beautiful couple. They look very relaxed and happy.
    I love the Monarchs, and have learned a great deal about them since my friend Reta in Mexico City gasped at all I did not know. I planted milkweed in my yard in several spots (still rarely see them, but that’s where I see them most.) Then I read Flight Pattern by Barbara Kingsolver and I am just so endeared to the Monarchs now.

    1. I planted some Lantana years ago hoping for butterflies, and I do get Skippers, and Fritillaries, but no Monarchs.

      I haven’t read that book by Kingsolver I’ll have to check it out.

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment on the portrait. They are very happy. I hope it lasts forever!

      1. Me too!
        I get Swallowtails much more often, and those yellow (regionally, we call them) mud-puddlers, I don’t know all their proper names. They love my zinnias, too. But I guess the Monarchs need milkweed especially.

  2. I love that photo of the monarch, as worn out as the surrounding flowers. It seems like a good reminder to live fully in the time that you have.
    That’s a beautiful photo of Baby Girl and the Handsome Surveyor. People photography is definitely not my thing even though I admire it profusely and would like to dabble in it at some point.

      1. They came, and I know it was because of the milk weed, because in previous years I didn’t have as many. I also got a chance to watch them as Caterpillars. I do get hummingbirds but not as many….will have to work on them next.

        1. Oh Hummers are pretty easy if they’re in your area. Just hang a feeder or two and soon you’ll have Hummers!

          I’ll have look into the differences between Lantana and Milkweed. They really don’t look too different, but perhaps the nectar is not to the Monarchs taste buds?

            1. That’s picky! I have trouble getting them to my feeders at all! I usually buy the mix that’s blended for Finches of all types, and all I get our House Finches, and Chick-a-Dees. One blue jay, and squirrels that try to get the seeds.
              The Mockingbird, and crows never try to get the seeds, They like the black oil sunflowers the best so I also buy a bag of that to add more of them to the mix.

              The Hummers come within a few days of refilling my nectar feeder. I have a resident female Hummer. She’s been here for over a decade and quite territorial about the yard, and feeder. Of course it could be her off-spring or another one, but there’s been one zooming around, perching in my trees, and feeding here for a long time.

            2. That’s so awesome about the Hummers. I do get them but not very often. I’ll try putting out some nectar next summer.

              Now that I know what they like, my Gold Finches come in droves….I also have House Finches and Chickadees but over the summer time I had to cut back on the sunflower seed, because the squirrels and chipmunks were causing a nuisance and destroying my flower baskets. Now that we are heading into the winter months I think I’ll replace the sunflower seed.

  3. That Monarch is a battled scared warrior! Nothing wrong in images of imperfect butterflies, I was going to post one yesterday, lots about with half the wings missing and barely able to fly, but chose the perfect one instead for the colours. Monarchs are amazing, would love to see one.

  4. I love photographing tattered butterflies, dying blooms and lizards shedding their skins. Its about transformation. I feel the same as you about portrait photography. I’m so afraid of disappointing someone. Im still working on myson’s wedding photos. Planning a book as a gift. Your photos, as always, are beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much John! It amazes me that they travel so far! I was reading that it’s the 4th generation Monarchs that live the longest 6-8 months and make that long, and hard migration thousands of miles! We’re blessed to both be on their route.

    1. Thank you so much Judy! Oh how I would have loved a visit to the Butterfly conservatory you shared last week, but this one touched my heart and you’re right they do have stamina and courage!

      Thank you so much for the lovely compliment on the portrait! It was fun to get out of my box for a bit. It was fun even if they did reject this image. 😋

  5. Monarchs are such amazing creatures, Deborah. They seem even more so, seeing this less than “perfect” state of one.
    The portrait is lovely. They look so content. It took a special skill to capture that — even when they are people close to you. Congrats to them — and to you as well. Hugs all around!

  6. What a beautiful couple – that image is wonderful, Deborah. Thanks, too for the information on the Monarchs. We usually just marvel at their beauty without thinking too much about their mission and how little time they have to accomplish it.

    1. Thank you so much Dan! You’re right I rarely think about their mission. This image was a great reminder for me to keep that in my thoughts about them too.

      Thanks for the comment on the portrait too. I need all the boost of confidence I can get in this genre! 😉

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