The Mourning Cloak is Montana's state butterfly. They overwinter as adults, like this one, and then mate and lay eggs in the spring.
Two sulphur butterflies share a sip of nectar from a single aster bloom. Sulphers are a bit unusual in that they almost never open their wings when perched. The only time they do is when a female is rejecting a male!
After emerging from a chrysalis, a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly climbs to the top of a flower and spreads its new wings to dry, in preparation for its first flight.
Behind the lens.
I arrived on the scene after this butterfly had emerged and was approaching the top of the flower. It was unable to fly with its wrinkly, new wings. But as it inflated the delicate wings with fluid, it slowly began to take on the familiar shape that we all recognize.
Once I was down at eye level, I tried positioning my lens to be parallel to the plane of the wings, but the butterfly kept turning. So I settled for the cleanest and most pleasing background.