This lovely butterfly was busy in my friend's garden today and at first glance we thought it was a "Spotted Lady" butterfly. They are probably the most common butterfly in the world and in the spring when they migrate through the Coachella Valley we are inundated with them. But since this isn't spring I felt we had a different species here. I did some research and discovered this is actually a small Monarch Butterfly. I'm used to seeing the beautiful, large ones so common near Pacific Grove, California where they hang in huge clusters in eucalyptus trees. We don't get that many in this area so it was a treat to watch this one enjoying a snack.
"Monarch" © Kathy Dunham 2008