Tallgrass Prairie Photography
Nature Photography by Gary D.Tonhouse
© Gary D. Tonhouse 1997-2012
Monarch on Ironweed
Polk City Cemetery
Polk City, Iowa
The Monarch is unique among butterflies in
that it is the only species of
butterfly that does not hibernate, but
migrates in changing seasons.
It undergoes FOUR changes in form (metamorphoses) during its lifetime:
It begins as a tiny egg.
In the second stage it becomes a black, yellow and white striped
During this stage, the caterpillar sheds its skin
(molts) up to four times as it grows to its full length of about two
In its third stage, the monarch forms a protective covering called
chrysalis, or pupa. This pupa is shiny and green with gold speckles.
In its final stage, the monarch emerges from the
pupa as a beautiful
black and orange butterfly.
This entire process takes about a month.
There are usually three to four
generations of monarchs produced each year.
Equipment used to capture image:
Camera: Nikon F4s
Lens: Nikor 100mm F2.8 Micro
Tripod: None used this time
Film: Fuji Provia 100
Aperture set at F2.8
This is one image that I did not use a tripod.
Shutter speed was high enough for me to hand hold.
Created several images and most were tack sharp.
As soon as Monarch warmed up from his over night sleep,
he left his perch on the Ironweed plant.