|Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), Western Peloponnese, Greece, 2010|
It has been a wild and windy day here, with showers and a rainbow. I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to make a start on my drawing of the Monarch butterfly, following Emily Rose's brilliant guidelines which you can find here. This is my second attempt at one of her online workshops, and bit by bit I am getting the feel of the Faber-Castell pastel crayons she encourages her students to use. As you can see from the photo below, I still have a way to go, but never mind.
|Work in Progress: Monarch butterfly|
I particularly wanted to try my hand at a Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) because, as you can see from photos 1 and 3, we saw a fairly similar butterfly, I think a Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), near Pylos in the Peloponnese a little over ten years ago when we were celebrating our Silver Wedding. These Tigers are sometimes known as 'African Monarchs'.
|Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)|
Monarch butterflies are well known for their long-distance migration. Their wings, as you can see in my incomplete drawing, have black lines. They normally navigate by the sun, but when weather conditions are not so favourable, they resort to magnetism as you will discover if you read this article in National Geographic. Monarch larvae feed on Milkweed.
Plain Tiger butterflies are possibly one of the earliest species to be depicted in art. An image of what appears to be one of these insects was found on a fresco in an Egyptian tomb in Luxor. I am not entirely sure whether the red and yellow flower in photos 1 and 3 is Blood Flower or Scarlet Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), but I think it looks as though it may be.