Don Poggensee takes us among the swallowtails & beautiful coneflowers

IDA GROVE, Iowa, Aug. 2, 2017 — Photographer Don Poggensee has had a busy summer, shooting around the state and beyond, but recently he was at home here in northwest Iowa.  So he “spent some time recording the giant swallowtail butterflies as they work over the purple coneflowers” in Moorehead Park, located just west of Ida Grove.

“If you sand still, they seem to forget that you are still there,” Poggensee tells us, “but you need to be fast (in photographing them) as they sometimes only spend a few seconds as they check each blossom for food.”

He made three different stops out at the park over a two-day period and shared the photos here.

“Right now there is a lot of color with the purple coneflowers, some gray-headed coneflowers with their yellow blossoms, and all the bees and butterflies checking things out,” he says.

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One of the stands of coneflowers in Moorehead Park in Ida County.

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Checking for food.

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God is an artist with intricate designs like these for giant swallowtails!

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How do these butterflies, as defenseless as they seem, survive like they do?

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A whole lot of color right here.

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It’s almost as if the coneflowers obey the swallowtails, you know?

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If you look at these photos and just see bugs, you have no imagination.

You can write the photographer at or comment here on his work by using the handy form below.

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