I live in Cincinnati, OH. The natural area I own and am restoring that I've posted photos of is about 40 minutes away near Aurora, IN. Until yesterday, I hadn't collected any cats I'd seen until I knew I had enough milkweed here to feed them and was going to be here to do so. Having identified a big healthy vine on our fence here as definitely the blue sand vine, I collected 3 cats of different sizes yesterday! It's my first time doing this with monarchs. They were all on the butterfly weed. One is big enough to pupate, one is still munching on the butterfly weed, and the smallest is resting under a twig. Maybe it's going to molt. I must have looked at about 50 plants before finding all 3 very close together. Before that, I found 2 small dead ones. I saw the biggest, most brilliant adult ever and just one other smaller one. In the 10-acre area that has a lot of butterfly weed and some common milkweed, I usually see just 1 or 2. And down below, I occasionally see 1 more. I hope their numbers increase there over the years. I just discovered Monarch Watch early this year; it's through the info and people on this website that I learned how much of a plight the monarchs are in and became determined to try to do what I could.
The zebra and pipevine swallowtails seem the most plentiful of the swallowtails there this year. With all the spice bush in the woods, I'm surprised I don't see more of those. Maybe they tend to come out much earlier in the day when I'm not around. Fritillaries are perhaps the most abundant big butterfly there. There are loads of cabbage whites, many sulphurs, the occasional buckeye, and many small butterflies, such as pearl crescents, skippers, wood nymphs, and tailed blues. I haven't seen any red-spotted purples yet this year; they're usually pretty common there also.