No monarchs yet

It’s nearing the end of June and I still haven’t found any monarch caterpillars in our yard, even though there are at least 115 common milkweed plants. Last year, I found the first two monarch caterpillars on June 17, so we are at least a week behind.

more than a dozen blooming milkweed plants close together

Meanwhile, plenty of other creatures are enjoying the milkweed leaves and flowers.

Butterfly, which I think is a summer azure:

small purplish butterfly standing on a flower

Asian lady beetle:

red ladybug walking along the edge of a milkweed leaf

An interesting long spider set up shop above a milkweed leaf:

horizontal web with a long spider hanging underneath

The blossoms sometimes trap insects, like this fly, which had three stuck legs:

fly hanging upside-down in the middle of a blossom

This honeybee was also trapped, though it was able to free itself:

honeybee at the bottom of a milkweed blossom


bumblebee on the left side of a milkweed blossom

A small bee (possibly halictus) flying in.

small striped black bee nearing a blossom from the right

A longhorn beetle, which I suspect is a newly hatched red milkweed beetle:

beetle with a red head and two long black antennae, with a narrow gray body and no visible legs

I also noticed a lacewing and a red admiral butterfly but they flew off before I could get photos. Monarchs and caterpillars have been spotted in the Twin Cities, so it’s just a matter of time.

milkweed blossom with a couple unopened buds


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