It doesn’t take much to make me happy some days. Like wandering out to take pictures and finding this in the newly mowed edge of the meadow out back.
Milkweed. That wonderful host plant for monarch butterflies. The butterflies we rarely see, but they are in our area because I have seen them twice in our meadow. Never when I had my camera though. I did once find one that lost a fight with some predator and was in pieces off the edge of our patio last year.
But, now that I know where we have milkweed, we can watch and look for the larva and the chrysalis. We have rescued, watched, then released many monarchs at the Conservancy. If I get proficient at it, and can safely move the chrysalis to an area where they can be protected, they have a much better chance of making it to adulthood.
Once I found the seed pod in our area, I did a little looking around and found a few dozen pods in an area about 200 square feet.
I harvested the pods to use at the Conservancy for a project. I decided to spread the seeds around even though they weren’t optimum for drying and transplanting. The pods had all been split and the seeds were past their prime.
I did find quite a few milkweed beetles too.
While out looking to see if there were other areas of milkweed, I did have to be careful to avoid the many many piles of deer scat. It looks like the deer have been chowing down on our part of the meadow. My husband gave the meadow the last cutting of the year, so it could regenerate those varieties of ground plants that the deer enjoy. Obviously, they were grazing for a long time.
They also like one place in our front yard. We try to watch the ground when walking across the grass to the mailbox. All in all, it was a pleasant day today. The meadow is in its glory, and I love to walk back there, even if I hadn’t found milkweed, it was still a beautiful sight in the fall.
As a bonus, I have a bag of milkweed seed pods to use at the crafts fair in December for the children’s critter craft area.