Monarchs Rule

 9.18.15 monarch on mexican torch 2

Monarch visiting Mexican Torch sunflower

September 19, 2015

Today, for the first time in years, I am seeing Monarch butterflies in my yard.

First, this morning, one landed on the sedum in front of the evergreen bushes by the front door, then flew on to the Mexican Torch sunflowers at the other end of the porch. That single Monarch lingered on the sunflower while I ran an errand, tarrying there for nearly 20 minutes.

Later, as I relaxed with Melanie, Tank, and Donal on the breezeway, I watched a micro-band of Monarchs swarming the backyard sunflower patch. Four individuals flittered and danced from flower to flower, preferring the fiery red-orange Mexican Torches to the sedate pale yellow Italian Whites.

The sunflower patch can now be called a sunflower bush. Although beginning as several individual plants, they’ve grown so closely together, to over six feet tall and wide, taking on the proportions of a giant, multi-branched individual.

Between the critters and me on the breezeway and the sunflowers is a wide expanse of overgrown lawn. Grass and weed seed-heads sway in the breeze and pairs of tiny brown and orange butterflies swirl up from the blades, twirling and cavorting around each other before disappearing into the low-leaved limbs of the maple tree.

Although the grassy savannah closest to the house will become a vegetable garden next spring, I think the space just beyond, between the two pear trees will be set aside for a butterfly kingdom, a space where monarchs may rule again.


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