Tag Archives: monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

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Photo credit: Rick L. Hansen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wikimedia

Monarch butterflies have been in decline for years. As a result, backyard gardeners, butterfly lovers and environmentalists have been encouraging homeowners (and renters) to provide plants for Monarchs. I found the following graphic on Facebook and thought I would share it here:

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  1. Plant milkweed. It is important to locate seeds and plants that are native to your area. Very, very important.
  2. Encourage your locals schools and businesses to allow a Monarch-friendly patch of milkweed and other butterfly-friendly plants to thrive. Important: do not mow down plants until and unless they have gone to seed or died back naturally.
  3. No pesticides: my property is a pesticide-free zone. During the warm months, there are hundreds of insect species that stop by or live here including butterflies, bees, wasps (not all are bad), dragonflies, flies, and more.
  4. Share this information with others. If I had my way, pesticides would be banned from use by the general public and government entities.

More information: Journey North Monarch Butterfly project.

Playing in the dirt

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I did it! I finally went out into my back yard garden and started getting the beds ready to plant. Okay, I confess that I mostly just pulled out some monstrous weeds that were taking over.

Beautiful blueberries!

Beautiful blueberries!


I know I am at least a month behind this year, but my garden needs to work around my physical limitations and schedule.

Walking back to the house out of breath and feeling weak, I was still smiling. I had dirt beneath my fingernails and weeds piled up ready to be carried to the back compost pile. I said “Welcome!” to lots and lots of earthworms.

Just remember that this is a "Before" shot. It is all potential at this point. Those raised beds are filled with busy earthworms doing their thing. The soil is heavenly -- soft and dark brown, full of organic matter and microbes.

Just remember that this is a “Before” shot. It is all potential at this point. Those raised beds are filled with busy earthworms doing their thing. The soil is heavenly — soft and dark brown, full of organic matter and microbes.


I refuse to be discouraged. I am really struggling physically (chronic Lyme disease). Although I have occasional days when I am not wiped out, most of the time I feel my legs turning to jelly when I try to walk any distance — and the shortness of breath is the worst of all.

Last night I walked up and down a flight of stairs with barely a notice. Today, I got out of breath walking up the small hill from my back yard to my front yard. But my back yard raised beds look so much better than when I started. I hope to get seeds in the ground this weekend — everything is just going in the dirt. No indoor seed starting this year. I am winging it!

I am inviting Serendipity to do her thing!

My 21yo son cleaned out the patch where I have allowed Common Milkweed to do its thing hoping to do my part for Monarch butterflies. I started with three plants two years ago, and now have at least 20 plants.

My 21yo son cleaned out the patch where I have allowed Common Milkweed to do its thing hoping to do my part for Monarch butterflies. I started with three plants two years ago, and now have at least 20 plants.

Oh, I found some volunteer lettuce plants in the grass in front of the terraced garden bed yesterday. I dug up one little Romaine lettuce plant and put it in the soil where I want it. I plan to dig up the rest and move those baby lettuce plants so they don’t get mowed down.

Lettuce volunteers growing in the grass. I allowed a few lettuce plants to go to seed last fall, and this is what they gave me -- offspring!

Lettuce volunteers growing in the grass. I allowed a few lettuce plants to go to seed last fall, and this is what they gave me — offspring!


Now, I will take a little nap. See you later on this warm Saturday in May!