The Verona Public Library recently held an opening reception for the “On the Trail of the Monarch Butterfly” exhibit, which features Mexican filmmaker and ultralight pilot Francisco Gutiérrez’s photographs of the beautiful insects.

The photographic journey of the Monarch’s life and migration will be on display through Sept. 29 at the library, which will also host several programs and videos over the next month.

On Aug. 22, guests (including those from out of town and even out of the country) enjoyed Monarch butterfly-shaped cookies and a presentation by Karen Oberhauser, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, titled “Dwindling Numbers for an Iconic Insect: A Conservation Biologist Ponders Moving Beyond the Documentation of Declines.” Oberhauser described the Monarch’s amazing biology, efforts by citizen scientists to track their migration and how we can help preserve this insect for future generations.

During her talk, Aleks Osborn, 7, of Prairie du Sac, shared that you can identify male Monarchs by looking for black spots near the orange butterfly’s shoulders known as “androconia,” or scales that give off a faint odor like milkweed blossoms to attract females.

– Samantha Christian