Lens on Lake Minnetonka: A Very Hungry Caterpillar

Mound photographer places in our annual contest.
Second Place Nature & Wildlife by Chris Grace.

A photogenic caterpillar and a vibrant color scheme of green earned Mound’s Chris Grace second place in the Nature & Wildlife category of our 2017 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest. Her snapshot, When Was the Last Time You Saw One of These?, features a monarch caterpillar happily ensconced on a bright-green milkweed leaf.

Grace, an avid nature lover, walks around 10 miles every morning through Westonka. It’s on those walks Grace seeks inspiration for her photographs. “As soon as the milkweed plants come up, I start looking for monarch caterpillars—some might say obsessively,” Grace says, smiling. We bet many readers will remember childhood summer days spent hunting for the adorable, striped creatures as they hatched from their eggs and set out to look for food.

Grace says she’s always been fascinated with caterpillars and felt an increased need to capture their beauty in photographs since learning that monarch butterfly populations have declined, partly due to the decrease in milkweed habitat (their food of choice).

This picture was taken last summer with—surprise!—Grace’s smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S8. She doesn’t consider herself a professional photographer, but loves the practice. “If I had a dollar for every photo I’ve taken, I’d be doing all right,” she says.