Monarchs and Milkweeds

Sweet Smelling Bloom

The other day my husband and I were outdoors and noticed a wonderfully sweet, almost lilac, smell drifting past. We were not sure where it came from as none of the trees were flowering anymore. We kept sniffing and wondered if the abundance of clover in our lawn was giving off that really nice smell.

Later in the day we saw the sky getting really blue to the west.  We knew they had forecasted rain for our area and it looked like it was going to be coming. We decided to take a little walk up the road, past the grove so we could check it out. We have very little open view to the west due to the thick old-fashioned grove.

As we walked past the milkweed patch on the edge of the grove, the origin of our sweet smell became clear. We waded through the grass to the patch of milkweed growing there,  and leaned over to take a whiff. Aaaaahhhhh………milkweed was definitely the source.

My husband has let this little patch grow in an effort to help out the local monarch butterflies.  We have noticed that the population seems to be dwindling  these last years and have read that loss of habitat may have something to do with that.  My husband figured that leaving a food source for them couldn’t hurt.

Some people, and farmers included, might think we are a little nuts leaving a weed growing but some weeds are good to leave around. (My sister in law informed us that wealthy people are eccentric and poor people are odd……hmmmmm…..that leaves out eccentric and I wonder where we fit in between there!) We figure the location of our little weed patch is perfect.  It is contained and will not spread anywhere else.

We have been noticing more monarch butterflies float past as we sit outside this year.We aren’t sure if it is due to our milkweed patch but we like to think has made a difference.

As I was taking the pictures for this post a butterfly was flitting around the patch but wouldn’t land. I waited patiently but could not get picture of a plant with a butterfly on it. I have found there is no way to convince a butterfly to land where you want it to; so you can have a great photo op.

My husband does like to hunt; but he does have a soft spot for wildlife. He feeds the birds with birdseed and the squirrels get ears of corn on a stand my youngest made when he was a 4-H member. We do have one squirrel who persists in peeling the kernals off the cob and then burying them in the ground for future meals. We now have corn growing here and there in the lawn. It could be it is his own little garden.

Thistles.JPG

We have also left a few thistles along a fence line and have noticed the goldfinches absolutely love them, as do the butterflies. I have a feeling that our place will never make it into the magazines of perfectly manicured lawns and landscaping but the wildlife seems to enjoy coming to visit.

“When life is not coming up roses
Look to the weeds
and find the beauty hidden within them.”
L.F.Young

“The woman loved everything that grew on God’s earth,
even weeds.
She knew that even the weeds
were capable of doing miracles she never could.”

Emily Flim

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11 thoughts on “Monarchs and Milkweeds

  1. Jocelyn says:

    My boys would LOVE your weed patches! We’re trying to come up with some bushes to plant along our back property line that will attract butterflies – pretty much total shade, though. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Merry Hearts Medicine says:

    I have a small butterfly area in my vegetable garden. I’m sad to say the last couple of years we’ve had no monarchs at all on our milkweed. I’ve thought seriously about starting a larger area in the yard to grow milkweed, but then I wonder if I have time to keep up with another project. 🙂 I hope your monarchs continue to multiply!

    Liked by 1 person

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