Timing is Everything

I brought home a pod of butterfly weed seeds over two decades ago.


I got it while on a trip with my sister and one of our college friends.

I planted the seeds along this bank.

Danaus plexippus on Asclepias tuberosa

It has taken years for the plants to mature.

My dream was to see them covered in Monarchs.

Maybe some have come before while I was not watching.

This year most of my butterfly weed has finished blooming, except for this one plant.


The Monarch(s) came two days ago.

As I pulled up my driveway yesterday.

I saw my dream.

Monarch butterfly on Butterfly weed.

A lone Monarch on the one plant that was a late bloomer.

I ran for my camera.

After taking many photos, I stood and reveled in my good fortune.


The timing of the Butterfly weed still blooming, the Monarch visiting, my arriving home while it was there and getting my camera in time to capture it all.

Everything is a miracle.


Chasing Butterflies

If you are not crazy yet, try chasing butterflies.

I am not talking about the sweet Swallowtails.


They soar purposefully in the direction of their destination

then land on a flower and spend hours eating and ignoring everything else.


I am also not referring to the beautiful Buckeyes

Common Buckeye/ Junonia coenia

who flit like twirly leaves before landing on a sedum to spend the day.

American Lady/ Vanessa virginiensis

Nor the American Lady which stays put, but seldom opens her wings for a peek at their upper-side colors.


Not the tiny little Gray Hairstreak either, with its tail appendages that move like antennae.

Gray Hairstreak/ Strymon melinus

Not even the Cloudless Sulfur that zig zags around and then lands on green things so you can’t find it.

Cloudless Sulfur/ Phoebis sennae

The “pic-tease” of the butterfly world is the Monarch.

It has played my like a paparazzi this week.

Monarch/ Danaus plexippus

On Sunday I quietly stalked it for sometime, then shamelessly ran down the drive after it.

When I finally came to my senses and returned to the  house to fold laundry,

it coasted across in front of my bedroom window and looked in.


On Monday  I took a photo break to give the neighbor’s dog a bone.

I looked out the front door as I closed it to see the Monarch glide across the porch.

Who’s zoomin’ who?


This game went on for days until finally, it settled itself for a few precious minutes on some garlic blooms.

It stayed just long enough for me to snap a few, not-so-great photos.

I am glad the Monarch is savvy.   I fear for its future.

It’s a long way to the forests of central Mexico and much of its forest has been logged or blown down by storms.

I love all butterflies, but the tricky little Monarch has a special place in my paparazzi heart.