Wednesday in the garden: Gifts of the Monarch.
Queen butterflies continue to flood my backyard with their beauty. I counted around a dozen today. It is impossible to get a completely accurate count, because they just won't stand still for it.
They are indeed lovely and I never tire of watching them.
The Monarchs like the almond verbena, too.
And as the Monarchs pass through on their way to Mexico, they are leaving me gifts in the form of their eggs. I've been finding caterpillars on my milkweed plants over the last few days. These two were quite large when I first saw them. When I checked on them a couple of days later, they were gone - already moved on to form their chrysalises I'm sure.
There was a smaller sibling still on the plant.
The chrysalis of the Monarch is as striking as the butterfly or the caterpillar. In this one you can see the butterfly already almost fully formed and ready to emerge.
I'm checking the milkweed plants regularly now for Queen caterpillars as well. I'm hoping they, too, will leave me such gifts.