The release took place in the arboretum's pollinator garden, a smorgasbord of nectar and host plants to leave any pollinating insect drooling (if insects could drool). None of the plants were new to me, but the garden was a delight, anyway.
My takeaway for the day was a lesson on how to sex monarchs. The males, like this handsome specimen resting on a swamp milkweed, have two black dots on the hindwings,
while the females lack such ornamentation. They're gorgeous, anyway.
Not long after these pictures were taken, despite its being a chilly day, these young adult butterflies began their spiraling flight into the first leg of their long journey south.