It’s been good to see a lot of monarch butterflies this August in my photo feed & in real life! Featuring a pair from Michelle today, the one above & the one below as the latest cover for the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page!
I’m seeing photos of Michigan sunflower fields in my feeds, so I figured I’d reach back 7 years for one of my favorite sunflower shots! Bill got this photo of a field of sunflowers east of Vicksburg back in 2014. See moore in his massive Kalamazoo County, Michigan gallery on Flickr & have a great week!
Tucked away on a quiet stretch of country road in Olive Township, amid barns and lush green crops flourishing in the midsummer heat, is a field of golden yellow that pops in the evening sun.
Lindsey Dykstra, owner of Liefde Farm, has planted hundreds of sunflowers on a stretch of land behind her home. It’s easy to miss this sight while traveling along 104th Avenue, just south of Fillmore Street, as the flowers are hidden behind her barn.
But word has spread, and Dykstra’s quiet property, at 9400 104th Ave., is alive with a steady stream of visitors these days. She, her husband, Kevin, and her two children enjoy sitting outside and watching the photographers and happy families gathering for pictures.
“It’s nice to see people enjoy it,” Dykstra says with a smile, noting the many places that are closed due to public health concerns. “This is kind of a safer option because you can be outside.”
Often called the Milkweed Butterfly, this large black veined orange winged butterfly can be observed feeding on milkweed. During its mating behavior, the adult male monarch will display a “courtship dance.” Perching on the tips of the milkweed, it will fly to other large butterflies to see if one is a female monarch; if it is, they will fly together in a fast, darting flight, lasting up to a minute and covering many yards and to a height of 100 feet.
As fall approaches, the monarchs can be seen in large numbers migrating along the Great Lakes shorelines enroute to Mexico and Central America.
Monarch butterfly populations have been declining in Michigan for the last decade, and it appears that last winter was another tough blow for this beleaguered beauty. You can learn a lot more about Monarch butterflies and how to help protect them at Monarch Watch.