Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
With apologies to the Rolling Stones
What I wanted, was monarch butterflies. Monarchs are in trouble as you are probably already aware. Each year they migrate through our area, and I wanted, very much, to be part of some solution I imagine we gardeners might be able to offer.
I bought a handful of tropical milkweed plants having been told that butterflies prefer to nectar at groups of flowers rather than singletons. I fretted over and brushed off and squished the yellow aphids that seemed even more inexorably and immediately attracted to these plants than any butterflies.
That is when I noticed this beauty out back. A Papilio thoas (I think), otherwise known as a King Swallowtail butterfly.
At the end of the day, I still am optimistic I'll attract a few southerly migrating monarchs to stop by the tropical milkweed I am trying to get established for them. There are blooms in sight, along with more aphids...
This post is part of Wildlife Wednesday, an attempt to raise our specific appreciation of not just the flora but also the fauna populating our outdoor spaces. Thanks as always to Tina of "My Gardener Says" for hostessing!