Daily Archives: August 11, 2017

Monarchs on Blazing Star

Monarch Butterflies on Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Plains, Kennebunk Maine

The Northern Blazing Star out on the Kennebunk Plains is not as prolific this year as it has been some years…but it is in full bloom right now, and it is attracting more Monarch Butterflies than I have seen anywhere in the past several years. There must have been a dozen nectering in the mile or so of the plains that I walked looking for Blazing Star. Before yesterday I had seen exactly 2 Monarch this summer…one in our yard, and one a Laudholm Farms. The numbers on the Kennebunk Plains right now is encouraging. 

Northern Blazing Star is an endangered member of the Aster family that grows primarily on sand plains throughout New England. The habitat is disappearing in all states, and the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area is one of few places where it is found regularly in Southern Maine. Some years the plains are purple with it. This year, no so much. Places where it was dense last year were burned in the fall (part of the maintenance plan for the plains as a whole…to keep them open and healthy) and it will take a few years for the Blazing Star to come back.  

Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. -.7 EV. 1/250th @ f5 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.