Friday, July 10, 2009

July: Milkweed

I've spent the last two days sitting at my computer at home, making numbers do my bidding. I even did some trigonometry! What a strange job I have. I went to the garden after dinner tonight hoping for some magic. The theme of the hour turned out to be milkweed...

IMG_3279 IMG_3291
Red milkweed beetle; close-up of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca

I am VERY excited to have my first monarch caterpillar! I've had milkweed naturalized in my garden for many years and the monarchs are rampant, but this is the first caterpillar I've seen. He's so tiny! I named him Scooter and will be looking for him every day. Yes I know I could put him in a protected spot and feed him but I want to see him grow up on his own. Scooter is the reason I planted so many natives in my yard.

Those nasty earwigs had better leave my Scooter alone! I had to pull four of them out of that inflorescence with tweezers just to take the picture. *shudder*

Hey, Foley, move your big head! You're blocking the butterfly weed!


Chicago Garden said...

Cool beans. Milkweed is blooming all over the place in my area and I can't for the life of me get any to actually grow in my garden. I wanted some to grow so I could take pics of caterpillars but so far no luck.

I've been stalking some milkweed clumps near the house hoping to get a photo of at least one.

garden girl said...

I was tempted to dig a couple at my Mom's and bring them home, hoping that even if the parent plants croak from the stress of transplanting them, some of the seedlings would take hold. Maybe next time I visit, hopefully next month.

Good luck with Scooter!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Diane, how lucky to get a caterpillar! I keep checking the milkweed in the pasture and haven't seen a single one. Bad year for butterflies. You have a lovely dog. Is she a rescue from racing?

Diane said...

Foley is a racing rescue - she broke her leg during a race so her career ended early. She's a real sweetie!

I'm sad to say that I can't find Scooter anymore. I can see monarch eggs on the leaves but not a single caterpillar or chewed-up leaf in sight. *sigh*

Country Mouse said...

Love your dog - I have a dog that gets in the way too - Gotta lovem though!