Sedona Wetlands: Birds and bees and butterflies

After some 20 years of meetings and countless hours of planning, the City of Sedona has developed a unique—and prize-winning— wastewater treatment facility. The treatment plant itself was finished some four years ago, but the unique thing about it is what happened next— channeling the highest quality treated water (meeting A+ Effluent Quality Standards) into a set of “six basins, with a total water surface area of approximately 12.2 acres or 9.6 million gallons” (see the city’s webpage). As soon as the basins were flooded, birds began to arrive and the wetlands became an important stopover for waterfowl and other migratory species. (See this Audubon Society page about the 2012 “birthing” of the wetlands, this regularly updated Audubon page and this Youtube video featuring the wetlands.)

Our recent trip revealed flowering plants covered with Queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus)— members of the milkweed subfamily Danainae which includes Monarchs.

Sedona Wetlands: A Butterfly Paradise
Two Queen Butterflies
Sedona Wetlands: A Butterfly Paradise
Single Queen Butterfly

To see two other, more polished, shots from my Smugmug page, click here for a photo of three Queen butterflies, and here for another featuring a butterfly and a bee.

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