Friday, December 28, 2012
The Butterfly Ranch
In a few short years, my milkweed (which I bought in a three inch pot at a Huntington Library plant sale) has spread throughout my garden, as, being a weed, it is wont to do. If you plant milkweed, monarch butterflies will come. The population has increased each year, so the striped caterpillars covered the plants for weeks in the fall. The plants are close to defoliated now, but where you can find leaves, buds and seedpods, there are still caterpillars. I stopped counting the chrysalises when I got to 50. And the monarchs aren't my only butterflies. I have lots of passion vine, which is the host plant for the gulf fritillary. The other butterflies I see include skippers, blues, giant swallowtails, tiger swallowtails, sulphers and painted ladies. I've had rare sightings of mourning cloaks and red admirals and something kind of small that I can't identify. I have plans to plants anise, coneflower, lantana, and cabbage. I will be covered in butterflies. Happy new year, blog readers. May you too be covered in butterflies or whatever your heart desires.