Friday, February 27, 2015

Corralitas Public Staircase: Monarch Butterfly

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 24, 2015.  If you look closely you can see the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) drinking from the Dandelion.  This one was at the base of the Corralitas Public Staircase.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monarchs appear to have a sense of humor, or maybe they are just more curious than other butterflies I've photographed.  Whenever I've stopped to shoot photos of them, even if I'm 10 yards away, a Monarch will come over and circle my head closely.  (It's not as if I ever wear bright colors that would attract them.)  Maybe it's just circling like a shark doing threat behavior & I'm just not reading the signs coming from a pretty butterfly.  

The Monarchs have really made their presence known in the neighborhood.  I've seen them in Elysian Valley, on Corralitas Drive, Riverside Place & all along the Red Car Property.  I've often seen them once the sun hits Red Car Canyon, flashing their bright orange wings in the dappled light.  Last fall, it was spectacular to see dozens at a time fluttering through the tree branches.  They also seem to like the slope above the Historic Red Car Viaduct Footings.

Considering Monarch migration numbers are in steep decline, it's great to see them adapt to our small pathways of green between the LA River, Elysian Park, Red Car Property & Griffith Park.  It has a lot to do with local native Milkweed restoration efforts.

Click here for all the butterflies we've documented through the years in the Red Car Property neighborhood.