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Magnificent Monarchs - Karl Foord

Karl Foord -  Extension Educator, Horticulture

One of my goals as an extension educator and photographer is to enable people to see things that are beyond our human physical capacity of perception. I am particularly interested in insect flight, because of my work on pollinator awareness.

Butterflies present a definite challenge in this respect because they often do not spend that long on one flower. Typically by the time you have set up all your photography equipment the butterfly has moved on.

I was fortunate to find a situation amenable to recording butterfly flight in the children's garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The garden is located behind the learning center which is located away from the main buildings. The garden consists of a number of raised beds, and one bed with zinnias was being visited by 4 monarch butterflies.

Monarch butterflies beat their wings from 5 to 12 beats per second.

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  1. I did not know a monarch could open their wings that far!

  2. So beautiful! Is that you playing the piano in the background - also beautiful!


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