Monarch on Aster by Nancy Barrett

Photographed at Humber Bay Park, Toronto, Ontario with a Nikon D90 and Sigma 150-500 mm lens.

Photographed September 21, 2011 during the annual Monarch migration; this particular field of asters and goldenrod was full of these beautiful butterflies. Monarchs gather annually along the Ontario lakeshore, peninsulas and points and can sometimes be so numerous as to coat branches and tree trunks with their colourful wings.

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871 where it is called the Wanderer. In Europe it is resident in the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira, and is found as an occasional migrant in Western Europe. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 centimetres (3½–4 in). (The Viceroy butterfly has a similar size, color, and pattern, but can be distinguished by an extra black stripe across the hind wing.) Female Monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the “androconium” in the center of each hind wing from which pheromones are released. Males are also slightly larger.
The Monarch is famous for its southward migration and northward return in summer from Canada to Mexico and Baja California which spans the life of three to four generations of the butterfly.

I’m a self-taught wildlife and nature photographer based in Toronto, Canada. An affinity for the wonders of the natural world, along with a healthy respect for our environment, has stayed with me since I was young and I have endeavored to express that passion through my work.

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  • jesika
    jesikaover 3 years ago

    Beautiful image and butterfly. It’s one of my dreams to see the Monarch glades in Mexico or Ca.

  • I completely agree, Jesika; visiting the mountain reserve in Mexico where the Monarchs gather is on my bucket list!

    – Nancy Barrett

  • Sandy Stewart
    Sandy Stewartover 3 years ago

    Vibrantly beautiful!!! : )

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...over 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Your marvelous image is among the featured work of the
    300+ Go Long group!

  • Thank you so much for the Feature!!

    – Nancy Barrett

  • DebraLee Wiseberg
    DebraLee Wisebergover 3 years ago

    Lets try this again!

  • Hey Debralee! Thanks so much for featuring my work!! :)

    – Nancy Barrett

  • NewfieKeith
    NewfieKeithover 3 years ago

    Beautiful Capture..I Love A Butterfly :)

  • Thanks so much, Keith!

    – Nancy Barrett

  • Leslie van de Ligt
    Leslie van de ...over 3 years ago

    October4, 2011

  • Thank you for the great Feature!!! I’m honoured!

    – Nancy Barrett

  • Lepidoptera
    Lepidopteraover 3 years ago

    October 16-2011
    Link to the Group Message
    Wish you a Sunny Day with Butterfly Kisses,

  • Brenda Burnett
    Brenda Burnettover 3 years ago

    Nancy, this is a beautiful shot of this Monarch. Lovely.

  • vigor
    vigorover 3 years ago

    Gorgeous work!

  • labaker
    labakerover 3 years ago


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