asclepias seed pods
Asclepias tuberosa has been pollinated, ovaries satisfied, seeds almost ready to be dispersed in the wind held aloft on silky umbrellas that float immune to gravity for hundreds of feet, if not thousands of feet.
Each of these pods contain hundreds of seeds that easily turn into these durable milkweed plants. Monarch butterflies get their bird immunity from these plants. The butterflies eat this plant and in doing so attain large amounts of toxic compounds that birds somehow recognize.
”Eat this butterfly, and I will DIE,” birds think when they see a monarch butterfly.
Every pathogen of Asclepias is immune to carnivorous predators. Somehow, pathogens know not to eat any insect colored to warn them. It is the result of millions of years of evolution.
I am an environmentalist, for sure.
Im so crazy overboard that I give these pods away and tell people to disperse them. I put hundreds into the bed of my truck and as they dry and crack open, the seeds fly all along every highway I drive on.
I just can’t help but feel that my craziness has resulted in thousands of new Asclepias plants next to highways from North Carolina to Maine.
People like me do things like that to save species without knowing if it has any impact on populations of endangered species, which the monarch butterfly is.
I will do what I can. If you want some pods, come to the nursery, they are free for anyone!!!
And here is an interesting article from across the continent:
Buy your firewood now, folks. Last year we ran out, and I expect to this year also. It’s not ready to burn- you don’t need it to anyway! Yet, by the time you need it, it will be, and you will have it. Last year I said “sold out, sorry” to dozens of people. At $250/cord, my feeling is that it’s way too cheap, and I’m considering raising the price. It’s hard, excruciatingly dangerous work, and it’s hard if not impossible to find responsible people to do it with us. Buy it before the price goes up, and before we run out.
I was investigating a new wildflower garden this morning and saw this little lady flitting about. Just in case, I whipped out my phone and got ready. She wasn’t pollinating, she was “casing the joint,” and I knew what she was about to do.
I put my iPhone XR on video, got on my knees, and got ready... she’ll be back. Sure enough, she fluttered her way back towards me and did you-know-what.
How the hell could I have been so fortunate? I’m 61 years old, and have never seen this ever.
It’s not that my personal goal was to ever capture this moment for posterity, yet I felt myself extremely lucky to have had my phone with me when I saw it happen.
I was watering the little gardens by the road today and was visited by a monarch butterfly circling around the twenty different perennial plants recently planted out there.
She visited flower after flower from all the different plants and then went back to the first one, the famous Asclepias incarnata ‘Cinderella’
She landed on a leaf which is unusual, arched her abdomen out and under the leaf she landed on, and flew away after a brief moment.
I turned the leaf over and this is what I saw!
Once I knew what to look for, I looked around and found many, all only upon the Asclepias. Caterpillars are soon to follow! Pupae after that. Metamorphosis then into a new generation of adult monarchs, a sight to behold, all of which takes place primarily upon Asclepias incarnata!
They are all over the place, and somewhere between easy to find and impossible to find, if you know what to look for and where.