Charmed by a Monarch

I spotted this charming Monarch over at Crocker Nurseries in Brewster the other day.

It took me a while to catch up with her, as she flitted from blossom to blossom.

Never having attempted butterflies, I felt a bit “all thumbs” learning how best to capture her without disturbing.

So I was over the MOON when she landed to rest on this pretty cone flower.

The orange and purple of the flower were the perfect color palette for her beautiful wings…

Especially when she unfolded them to let the sun shine through like stained glass windows.

Of course I thanked her profusely for her patience…

And as she flitted away I told her to have safe travels and that I hoped to meet her again someday!

Sow the Seed

Well I thought I had missed them for sure.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Mill Landing to find that the milkweed pods were still holding onto some of their silk —

And SEEDS before sending them out into the world!

As a child when we’d come across them in a field, I thought milkweeds were just ugly, sad-looking useless clumps of dying plants that were once so pretty to look at.

Until I discovered that among other things they are a monarch butterfly’s only salvation.

It’s almost too incredible to believe, but it’s the toxins in a milkweed plant, consumed by monarchs during the summertime, that protect them from predators as they migrate to Mexico each year.

But even if that weren’t wondrous enough, I have come to love milkweeds in autumn.

I love how their silky, gossamer-like threads…

And tiny flat brown seeds…

Finally burst from their bulging pods to sail far and wide on the Cape Cod breezes to spread their kind.

I even find the decaying pods themselves to be beautiful not only in color but in shape and texture as well.

Why THIS one, could almost be a HAT!  😉

As I turned for home, I was just so glad that I hadn’t missed them after all.

These tiny plants, that a small child once called ugly and plain, actually sow life and beauty through their seeds.

This year the milkweeds are reminding me, that we need every single seed.