Last year, for the first time, I had a several Milkweed plants that got established in my gardens.
This year, I was surprised that the common Milkweed that got established last year didn’t bloom—but the plants did come back and did grow larger.
Sadly, they were not as eaten by caterpillars this year. Yes, I did see some, but some plants almost had all leaves eaten off last year, and that did not happen this year. And I don’t know if any of my caterpillar guests survived to become pretty butterflies—it was common for me to see caterpillars one day, but not the next, this summer.
The life of a wild caterpillar is a precarious thing.
Still, the Milkweed plants grew this summer. The swamp milkweed bloomed nicely. And I did see caterpillars.
I guess my overall project to introduce Milkweed to my gardens made progress this summer, and that’s a good thing. I needed some good news, as I read with some trepidation that the Trump administration is making changes to the Endangered Species Act, signed over four decades ago by another Republican (Richard Nixon).
I could well believe the act could use some transparency and rules changes. But no, I don’t trust the Trump administration to do it well.
Well, I’ll do what I can. And I hope more of my pretty flower plants get eaten by Monarch babies next year.