The Flutter-bying of Monarch Butterflies

Just popped out to get some fresh air and a break from the computer and was thrilled to see a Monarch butterfly on my milkweed. [Ed: Of course, the flowers in these shots are goldenrod or Solidago, not milkweed – but when the camera is missing, the blogger improvises.]

It fluttered away when I came near, then it came back after checking out the rest of the garden and it had a whale of a time slurping up nectar. I stood there watching it put its little long thingy (proboscis?) into each floret on the flower cluster.

Male Monarch (you can tell by the spots on his lower wings)
Male Monarch (you can tell by the spots on his lower wings)

Instantly I had the urge to plant milkweed all over the city, so there would be something like a network of little out of the way diners for thirsty Monarchs. Joe’s Nectar. Eat Here. It’s Coooool Inside.

TorontoGardens-Milkweed-Asclepias-syriaca
This, of course, is the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

I’m thinking if everyone in Toronto had one in their garden the problems the monarchs are having might lessen. They are disappearing I think. Realisation that I don’t actually know that much about them. Must research.

Memories come back to me like the large clump of milkweed I dug up when I first started my garden out of town. Guilt. And visions of monarchs absolutely everywhere as a kid. They were so commonplace. Will they ever be that way again?

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