I've been holding onto these upcoming pictures and story for just over a week, waiting for just the right time to tell it. I have no idea why now is the right time. Maybe because it was a frigid 43 degrees here this morning. Maybe it is because some people are still getting snow. Brr. It gives me the chills just writing that.
Well, if you are one of those people who are/have been experiencing a very late Spring, or a winter that won't end I write this for you. :)
Last week was our first week where we were consistently in the mid 70's and above. It seemed every day at work something new was spouting new growth, or a new bloom caught my eye. I'm working with some new-to-me plants, and some I haven't had the chance to play with often enough. One such plant is the Asclepias tuberosa, or Butterfly milkweed. We got them in both yellow and orange flowering.
Some of my co-workers were saying we needed to plant more of this because the butterfly numbers have been down the last few years. Those same friends/co-workers were on break when I stood in front of those plants and a fluttering motion caught my eye. I stood and watched the lazy wings and felt I was in another world. Could I be seeing what I was seeing? Were those wings orange and black?
The fluttering wings traveled from plant to plant, sipping the sweet nectar of every flower. Sometimes this beautiful creature would fly high in the air. It seemed like the wind took it at will, blowing it freely from one area to the next. A smile came to my face. I felt transported to another world. The hectic minutes of the work day stood still as I watched this beauty finally fight against the wind to get back to its food source.
My only movements were that of reaching into my pocket for my phone so I could get a couple pictures. I knew if I was lucky enough to be witnessing this phenomenal creature after a 2500 mile flight back from its migration site I had to share.
I have to say I am still in awe for witnessing something I never had before. After only watching this Monarch for a couple minutes I wondered how it can fly all the way from Mexico to the U.S. without being blown way off course.
All I know is this: I was, and am, truly blessed to be a witness to some wonderful acts of nature. Not all have happy endings, I'm just happy that this one did! :)
Has Spring finally sprung where you live? Have you experienced an incredible or sad act of nature in your life? Do you like birds and butterflies?
W.P.I.- Butterfly weed, or milkweed, (see first picture) is a native American wildflower that is at home in both the wild garden and as a border. It is a flower that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Blooming from late spring into summer, having sprays of small orange, yellow, or red-orange flowers are striking in their beauty.
Butterfly weed grows easily in sun and tolerates a wide variety of soil types but performs best in soil with good drainage. Once a butterfly weed develops a good root system, it becomes a long-lived, drought-resistant plant.
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