Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Monarchs in the Air, Monarchs in the Sky, Monarchs eating my plants, By and By.

I grow a lot of plants here.  Many of them are here for very specific reasons.

I have to think that I am a victim of my own success in this one particular situation.  You see, there are a lot of Milkweed plants on the property.  I Just haven't seen any flowers in a very long time.

In fact the reason that I grow them is specifically NOT to see flowers.  They are food for the Monarch Caterpillars that hatch on the plants. 

One of the earliest pictures that I posted here was a close up of a Monarch that had hatched from a chrysalis and was drying the wings out on the leaves under the Sea Grape tree in the backyard.

That particular beauty is a boy.  The two twin spots on the veins on the back two wings are his "boy bits".

I am currently dealing with a maddening car issue and have been out in the carport, an open structure on the front of the house where you park your car to keep it out of the sun.   I'm under the impression that it's a peculiarly Florida thing, but who knows, I could be wrong. 

As I was out there, sweating because it is August and blisteringly hot, I had to make sure that I didn't crush any of these butterflies because between my flowers and those of the neighbors, we have quite a lot of them floating around.

I am just back from a bike workout, 20.65 miles to be specific.  I'm clearing out tasks for the day and I needed to take the recycling to the street.  Coming back to the porch, there was a beauty flexing her wings in the sunshine on my basil, just a few inches from where I stopped.  It is nice to have some visitors in the day.

We always have a lot of Monarchs in various stages of life here in both the front and back yard.   At this moment there is one banging against the front window trying to get inside the house.  Maybe it sees the reflection of the Mexican Milkweed in the glass of the front window.  I don't know.  

I will say that the last time I got flowers and seeds from one of those plants it was due to my using insecticidal soap on them and harvesting the seed pods as soon as they were ripe.

I don't feel too good about that as it meant that there were some caterpillars that did not make it.  On the other hand I did get enough seeds to reseed my own pots as well as the little park near the house.

So as you stand out in the heat, make sure you are protecting the beneficial insects around you.  After all, you never know where the little critters are.  Even on your back.

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