Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Monarch Butterflies

The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix offers a number of special exhibits each year — none more spectacular than the butterfly exhibits. Right now the subject is Monarch Butterflies. As most of you know, these insects are long-distance champion fliers — migrating between Mexico and the American Mid-West or between coastal Northern California and the western US & Canada. They have spectacular coloration to warn predators that they are foul-tasting and poisonous due to their diet of milkweed during their caterpillar stage. Note that they are not common in Arizona but were brought in for this exhibit — and will not be released into the wild. If you're in Phoenix, go see this exhibit — and spend some time in the gardens as well.

As a departure from my usual verbosity, I will let the photos speak for my experience both in the Butterfly House and strolling through the gardens.

A final note: the last butterfly picture was photographed outside the gardens, thus it is not a Monarch but a Queen Butterfly. Like the Monarch it is foul-tasting and poisonous to predators. Also quite lovely, don't you think?

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com