A Welcome Dinner Guest

They will probably go extinct in my lifetime. But they’ll always have food waiting for them here at Bellwether Farm, if they manage to get here.

Monarch butterflies have always struck me as tragic: beautiful, but chose a fairly limited diet and a mating strategy that is very high-risk.

I’ve got lots of room here, so there’s a corner of one of the fields – a little acre-or-so-wedge – that I let go to tall weeds.

This morning I spotted at least a dozen, so there must be many more.

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The whole “turn from a caterpillar into a butterfly” thing is so bogsmacking bizzare it still boggles my mind. Whoever came up with that idea must have been high as F, on whatever the gods get high on.


  1. quotetheunquote says

    I think it’s called “ambrosia” – heady stuff, like… the best stuff, wow.

    Congratulations on having this many larvae at your place, they are getting very hard to find, indeed!

    The “spousal equivalent” and I always let some common milkweed go wild in the front garden, but it’s a puny little growth compared to this. We are, nonetheless, always hoping for some larvae to appear, but have not had so much as a nibble yet (we do see the adults, but these are perhaps just south-bound migrants passing through).

  2. kestrel says

    Milkweed is such a beautiful plant, too… the flowers remind me of fireworks, but more perfect.

    When I was a child the swarm of migrating Monarchs got blown a little off course and went through the city I lived in. It was an amazing thing to walk through clouds of them.

  3. springa73 says

    I used to have a neighbor (she recently moved to another state) who let milkweed grow in the flower beds of her garden to give food to monarch butterfly larvae. Sadly, in recent years few or no larvae were seen, probably as a result of the steep decline in overall monarch numbers.

    I agree with kestrel – milkweed is a very attractive plant even apart from its association with monarch butterflies. I’d happily let it grow in my garden but it never seems to germinate there!

  4. Dunc says

    “Go extinct” is an interesting turn of phrase… Like it just happens. Well, yeah, it does, but that’s not what’s happening here. “Be driven to extinction” would be more accurate.