We had a nice moment yesterday -- a Monarch Butterfly gave Barbara’s Echinacea flowers a royal audience. We always wonder whether we’ve seen the last of these once-plentiful garden delights.

 Image info: Nikon D-180; Nikkor 200-400mm, f/4 zoom lens at400mm; f/10; 1/100 sec.; ISO 200.

Image info: Nikon D-180; Nikkor 200-400mm, f/4 zoom lens at400mm; f/10; 1/100 sec.; ISO 200.

Over 90 percent of the Monarch population has vanished, apparently due to a storm of coinciding dangers that include, among others, habitat destruction, unusual weather, and an invasion of the single-celled parasite known commonly as OE (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha).

 Image info: Nikon D-180; Nikkor 200-400mm, f/4 zoom lens at400mm; f/10; 1/60 sec.; ISO 200.

Image info: Nikon D-180; Nikkor 200-400mm, f/4 zoom lens at400mm; f/10; 1/60 sec.; ISO 200.

This butterfly is considered by many to be the most beautiful of its kind, hence it was named the Monarch of butterflies. (Brooklin, Maine)

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