Butterfly Weed to help promote the Monarch Butterfly population

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Butterfly weed, also known by it's botanical name of Asclepias Tuberosa, is a beautifully colorful plant that will surely bring some life into your garden. I have always loved butterflies, however, I thought they were attracted to any type of flower that had pollen. Every November, my hometown in the East Coast of Mexico, has a magical display of butterflies of all colors and sizes.

My favorite butterfly has always been the Monarch, and it makes me very sad that it is an endangered specie.

When I moved to California, I never realized how much I would miss the display of colors flying across the sky, and I really missed looking at that precious butterfly that is fighting for the survival of it's own kind.

Not long ago, I learned that some butterflies are attracted to particular flowers. We started growing edible plants three years ago, and I noticed that Black Swallowtail butterflies were visiting our garden, especially when the tomatoes were blooming. That made me wonder what would actually attract my favorite butterflies and that is how I learned about Milkweed (Butterfly weed).


I don't know how it happens, but two days after we got this plant, we already had two Monarch butterflies flying around. From barely seeing one every year, it went to two in one day. It was so beautiful, and exciting at the same time. Not soon after we noticed that they had laid eggs, and that made me even more excited about the idea of actually helping promote some growth into the Monarch population. It might not be as much as it happens in the Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacan Mexico, however, I felt it as our little grain of sand to help get this beauty of nature out of the reach of the "extinct species" list.


Isn't it vibrant? Though it is literally called a weed, and some people may even treat it as such, it only means that it shouldn't take much work to keep some of it at home, maybe in a large pot so it won't take over; adding some color to our home, and bring up the numbers of Monarch butterflies far from the reach of extinction. 


Look at how happy our little Monarch larva (Caterpillars) are, munching and eating the Milkweed (Butterfly weed). These are the type of caterpillars you do want in your gardens! I think they also add some interesting characteristics to our garden, that little ones would enjoy learning about. I believe the process of life a butterfly goes through can teach us so much about life itself and about our own selves.


This one was just hiding, because it got shy that I was taking photos of them. I just found them fascinating, and mostly because I wonder if they know what they are going to become. It kind of reminds me of the story of the ugly duckling. Though I don't think these caterpillars are ugly at all. I think of them as being very interesting creatures. Which I intend to help by always keeping their some of their food supply in our home. There is a saying: "Tell me who you are with, and I will tell you who you are," In this case, I believe that if we allow the beautiful side of nature in, we reconnect with it and make the beauty within ourselves flourish just as that butterfly is destined to.


Oh, and this little fugitive ran away and started building it's cocoon in our peach tree. We found it, we thought that maybe something had gotten to it, but we were more relieved to know that it was well and just trying to embrace the life it's destined to live to continue the circle of life. We helped do that, and that makes us very, very happy!

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Thank you for reading, and we hope to get a smile out of you from this post, because when you smile--it's contagious.




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