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.
Last June, someone ran over to me and insisted that I come with her. I said “in a minute!”
She said “NO DAVID, RIGHT NOW!”
I squawked some rude comments to her, I’m sure, but I went with her anyway, and what she wanted to show me was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of mother nature’s most rare interactions! Monarch butterflies mating on our blueberries. How many of you have seen this?
Nice girl, and because of her awareness I got a picture of something humans will not see ever again in fifteen or twenty years. Monarch butterflies are going EXTINCT.
Mexican cartels are destroying the overwintering forests in Mexico to plant avocados. Each time you buy one of those delicious fruits, you are sponsoring the extinction of endangered monarch butterflies.
There’s not much we can do about it, right? The criminals just go on about their crimes against the earth and nobody can stop them!
The environment! It just does not matter! Coal matters. Gold matters. Oil matters. Profits matter. The stock market matters. Republican-owned ol’ boy network matters. Scratching each other’s backs matter.
None of it really matters anyway. Who cares if a species of fish goes extinct? Gold matters. Profits matter. The state of all environments don’t matter at all. Global warming is a hoax too, right?
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.
Because of this horrible heat, we gotta water extremely thoroughly. Sometimes this means getting down with the hose and holding it in the pots of trees for a few minutes per tree.
This am as I was doing just that, I looked up through the canopy of limelight hydrangea trees and saw this view, one I’d never seen before.
A dog’s eye view of sorts.
The crystal clear sky with no polluting jet airliner contrails as a backdrop was a perfect backdrop for these beautiful trees. Coronavirus has destroyed the airline industry and their polluting contrails are no longer there. Blue skies dominate our world now- and it’s awesome!
Their flowering perfectly coincides with the arrival of the monarch butterflies returning from Mexico.
I noticed these insects getting to know each other on our ballerina perennials, and I looked them up on my new free insect ID app:
Apparently, these insects have lots of steamy sex whilst the humans toil. Something is very wrong with this picture! I’ve seen them for decades and now thanks to my insect ID app, I now know they are just less flamboyant than monarchs but are just as interesting in their life cycle. I’ll never crush another one between my fingertips.
These sex addicts in this pic are on Asclepias tuberosa.
I’ve seen em for years and now I know what they are and what they do: harmless!
The nursery dog, Peetee, saw something in the wood pile and stared at it forever yesterday. Focused hunter!
The new organic clover lawn out front looks nicer than freshly mowed regular turf. Honey bees populate our lawn in the thousands, rejuvenating a decimated population. No chemicals... EVER!
Freshly trimmed Abelia flowering today under a sugar maple tree I saved from the bull dozer in 1980 (yes, they had bull dozers in 1980).
Yellow bamboo welcomes visitors under that same sugar maple tree. It’s trouble-free and colorful 24/7, not to mention deer proof, insect and disease free. What a kick-ass plant!
Someone bought these “Rio hydrangeas” and compact crepe myrtles today before it got hot. Ever seen such nice plants? Compact, full, and awesome. The best sign of a great perfectionist grower is uniformity in all crops, something that our growers and we have conquered.
Hope to see you at the nursery someday! Come visit!
These plants are some of the best for summer color. For decades I haven’t sold them because I understood they were only southern plants, yet our horticultural industry hybridized many to tolerate the cold weather we have here. There are LOTS of colors and foliage types.
This is the reddest red of any shrub I’ve ever seen.
Glossy foliage on a compact plant.
This variety is a great looking plant. Flowers so plentiful, you can barely see the leaves. Flowers forever!
Crepe myrtle plants need at least five hours full sun per day in the summer in order to get enough energy out of the sun to maintain health and flower properly. Good soil is a must, as is mulch, and fertilizer. Water during droughts for best flowering. I’ve seen six foot crepe myrtles (across the street from duchess in Monroe. It must have been there for ten or fifteen years.
One might say that it doesn’t matter if they flower because the foliage alone is stunning.
I’ll put a lawn in here in the spring, and by fall it’s gone to weeds.
I’ll put a new lawn in in the fall, and by the next summer, it’s gone to weeds.
I give up. Nice lawns are behind me... now, I’m going to give this spot a chance at being my first wildflower splotch.
Last night, I sprayed this “lawn” with roundup. When it starts to turn yellow, I’ll pulverize the soil and seed it with the wildflower seeds we sell at the store.
If you are interested in how to do this, check back every now and then and you’ll find pictures and updates.
I’m thinking that this is what it will look like hopefully. I plan on mowing it to the ground each mid-November after the seeds have scattered, and after the birds have picked up all the seeds and nesting materials. It’s gonna be interesting to see if it’s too weedy looking for the front of my house. We’ll have to play that one by ear.