Milk Weed; I’ve Got Plenty

The wind is beginning to put a damper on things around here, that’s the problem with California, everything goes to the extremes. Just about the time someone says “If the wind stops we’re gonna roast.” We’re not there yet but it can’t be far off.” It’ll stay up until the middle of September, I keep repeating that in my blogs.

The garden is protected a bit from the wind, it needed watering and that’s where I headed. The wind will dry out the raised beds rather quickly more so as the temperature rises which is ’50s-’60s overnight and around 80 during the day. While tending to the garden I spotted the Milkweed that has been growing in the lot next to me for a few years. It’s gotten quite large as the photo shows.

It’s in a 4 foot deep ditch.

The picture doesn’t do it justice, it stands about 15 feet high and covered in flowers; some are visible. They will go to seed, we will see more Milkweed Spring of 2021. The main stalk (trunk?) is 2 inches in diameter with as can be seen numerous branches. I came across another on the Levee.

A new Milkweed on the waterside Levee.

More of the plants are growing voluntarily, a few years ago there were none. I have convinced people to let them grow, knighting them “Butterfly” people I let them know they are special. I tell them they are because suddenly Milkweed shows up on their properties waiting for the Monarchs to arrive. But this photo has a feature in it I don’t know what it is.

I don’t know if I captured the replica of a bird or a furry little animal, then again it may be the tuft of a weed.

Once in a while an image will appear in a photo that is not recognizable, there is one in the above picture. I suspect it’s merely a piece of a weed, I don’t know.

The same plant last year.

The photo above is the now giant Milkweed in the ditch next door, I convinced my weekender neighbor to leave it alone. “You’ve been chosen” I told Mitz “You are a Butterfly man.”

“Oh, great” he replied “What do I have to do now?”

“Nothing but wait until the Monarchs arrive, you are a national treasure.” I told him “I wish it was me.”

“I do too” he told me “Do I have to do something with the State or County Governments?” he was serious.

“No, they’d just as soon you chop it down, but you’re leaving it there to enhance our lifes experience.” he wasn’t buying it. None the less he left it there, due to the C-19 self quarantine he hasn’t been here since February. I was tempted to send him a picture of it but discretion is the better part of valor.

I thought I’d place a photo of my Apple Tree in this spot, three of Milkweed may cause me to lose readers.

It’s been three years since the Milkweeds have begun to grow, my neighbors are questioning whether I know what I’m talking about as we have attracted zero Monarchs. It may take a few more years but they will eventually come. Milkweed is the only plant they will lay eggs on after migrating all the way from deep inside Mexico. Flying all of the way to Mexico, they and Hummingbirds make some of the longest migrations.

I thought a Monarch was in the yard yesterday, but it was a butterfly displaying the same color scheme but it sported the wrong colors. I looked online to see if the eggs are sold commercially, I have yet to discover an outlet. I’m holding out they are sure to show up, it’s too late for this year. In the meantime I will continue a search with the intent to import some. Migratory species generally cannot be bought and sold, for a good reason; they will most likely not find their way to Mexico to breed. That will leave me in the same boat, what’s a guy to do?

Jacques Lebec Follow the Fork in the Road

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