Five Brushfooted Butterflies on Milkweed in Canada: Monarch, White Admiral, Common Wood Nymph, Comma and Great Spangled Fritillary

Life (and death) in a milkweed patch

Monarch on Milkweed

Life (and death) in a milkweed patch
Location:  Manitoba’s Birds Hill Provincial Park, Canada
December 28, 2010
Hi Daniel:
Every July tens of thousands of people descend on Manitoba’s Birds Hill Provincial Park for one of Canada’s, and North America’s, oldest and largest folk festivals (we haven’t missed it for more than 30 years!). In 2006 I discovered the most impressive milkweed patch I have ever seen, wedged between a parking lot and an oak forest, and was thrilled with the abundant and diverse bug life I found there. …  If you or any of your readers are interested, I have uploaded a collection of photos taken at this location since 2006 (with more to follow next year, I am sure). I am still working on some of the identifications and I am not certain about some of the ones I have inserted, so any comments or suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated. Regards.  Karl

White Admiral on Milkweed

Hi Karl,
We will let you know if we post any of your other wonderful images.

Common Wood Nymph on Milkweed

Go ahead and borrow anything you like, or let me know if you have anything specific in mind. I have thousands of photos that I have been meaning to organize and perhaps upload, but I just haven’t been able to find the time. Perhaps next year.  Have a great new year! K

Comma on Milkweed

Hi Karl,
You have so many wonderful images.  We decided to concentrate on only the Brush Footed Butterflies in the family Nymphalidae that you have photographed, including the Monarch, White Admiral, Common Wood Nymph, Comma and Great Spangled Fritillary.

Great Spangled Fritillary

3 thoughts on “Five Brushfooted Butterflies on Milkweed in Canada: Monarch, White Admiral, Common Wood Nymph, Comma and Great Spangled Fritillary”

  1. Hey Bugman, I finally have a reason to head to Birds Hill! We’ve lived here in Winterpeg for five years and have never gone there, largely because it IS so popular. We’ll definitely have to set aside an afternoon next summer. Thanks Karl for providing the incentive. By the way, I got CURIOUS WORLD for Christmas, much to my delight. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

    • Dear Bugophile,
      I am happy to hear that Karl’s excellent photos of the milkweed meadow at Birds Hill Provincial Park have inspired you to visit. There is a delicate balance between having open spaces that are preserved yet encouraging people to visit and use the land. Karl’s efforts toward the preservation of the milkweed while still allowing the folk festival to continue are very admirable. There are probably many places along roadsides in your area where there are stands of milkweed that are on private land and may one day be lost to development. My own nostalgia for the woods and meadows along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and their rich ecosystems, including stands of milkweed, joe-pye weed, goldenrod and other plants that attract insects including multitudes of butterflies was triggered by Karls wonderful photographs. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the book.

  2. Actually, we live mere blocks away from Living Prairie Museum, which has a wonderful milkweed meadow, and one of their features is a Monarch Festival every summer. I am also trying to create my own milkweed stand in the front garden, although the success rate has been sketchy at best. Maybe this year… Interestingly, milkweed is officially considered a noxious weed here.


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