This is a large dragonfly classified as a cruiser. Dragonflies fascinate me almost as much as birds. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. The males are typically more brightly colored than females, just like birds. I was delighted to be able to get such a close up photo this summer.
I have never seen a Monarch butterfly in Edmonton, they are commonly found only in the south of Alberta, yet this past summer I was treated to several sighting of the species. Before each of the sightings it had been very windy, so I believe these butterflies were simply blown off course by the winds during their travels.