Timing is Everything

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

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

I planted the seeds along this bank.

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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.

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The Monarch(s) came two days ago.

As I pulled up my driveway yesterday.

I saw my dream.

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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.

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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.

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Chasing Butterflies

If you are not crazy yet, try chasing butterflies.

I am not talking about the sweet Swallowtails.

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They soar purposefully in the direction of their destination

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

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I am also not referring to the beautiful Buckeyes

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Common Buckeye/ Junonia coenia

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

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American Lady/ Vanessa virginiensis

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

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

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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.

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Cloudless Sulfur/ Phoebis sennae

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

It has played my like a paparazzi this week.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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