Friday, September 14, 2007

they're here!

The arrival of these beautiful butterflies will forever mean fall to me. As children, my sister and I would take a quilt to the roof of the house for an afternoon. We'd lie on our backs beneath the lazy autumn sun and then we'd count, as cloud after cloud of hundreds of Monarchs passed overhead.

I don't see clouds of them anymore, but their arrival in small groups of five and ten is always magically timed to the blooming of the sedum and asters in my garden. In an uncertain world, the faithful return of these beauties is comforting.

Fall will also bring us huge zebra swallowtails and golden sulphurs, plus these tiny little purple skippers that perfectly match the New England asters. You? Do you have Monarchs where you live?

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Anonymous Brion. said...

Yep! Even this past winter, which has been fairly mild, there have been several monarchs flying about in the sunshine. A lot of garden centers are now selling swan plants to encourage more of these beauties!! It is fascinating to sit and watch a fully grown caterpiller slowly turn itself into a crysalis with those equisite gold highlights! And then several weeks later to see another butterfly emerge in all it's beauty!!


September 14, 2007 3:08 PM  
Blogger evilganome said...

We get them, though they are pretty much on the way south now. I posted a picture when they started turning up in the garden. We get the occasional tiger swallowtail, and some American coppers and cabbage moths here in the city, but nothing like the varieties I remember from my childhood in Vermont.

September 14, 2007 3:56 PM  
Blogger rodger said...

We don't have many butterflies in the Pacific Northwest and I've never seen a Monarch here. It's possible they just don't make it West of the Cascades. They were abundant in California though and I miss seeing them.

September 14, 2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger farmboyz said...

In Provincetown, they signaled the end of summer. They loved our Buddleia which I let grow tall to maybe fifteen feet. I had no need to touch these monarchs so I didn't need them to take respite within reach. Some days, I wanted to go with them. To rise up into the sky and to veer and beat and light and just to catch a current and to be borne off to some place called my final place where I will have a task that I will seem to know instinctively. How sweet, to find within oneself by dint of the change of season all the prescriptions you need to be well forever.

September 15, 2007 12:49 AM  
Blogger Dusty said...

Damn, you really made me feel better with that post BaB..thank you woman! :)

I lived in Santa Barbara where they have a huge Monarch population..its an amazing sight to behold.

Gotta stop and watch the Monarchs sometimes!

September 15, 2007 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many lit upon the butterfly bushes opposite Dick Dock on Commercial Street, that we fired up the RobotCoupe and made a yummy orange reduction glaze.


September 15, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

One of my boys has been directed to catch 50 insects by his biology teacher. When he came home with a beautiful monarch butterfly and a bee, my heart sank. These wonderful creatures are experiencing enough problems in the wild; they don't need this extra pressure to become dried specimens for a college boys' assignment.

September 16, 2007 11:13 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

I miss seeing them. Although the zoo here has a big butterfly house with the butterfly bushes where you can see lots of different kinds. Not the same as seeing them in back yard though...

September 16, 2007 3:51 PM  
Anonymous tater said...

Alas, they have come and gone already. They stir my heart as well, and take me back to childhood. they used to be so many in number, that they filled the yard like bright confetti. I am now lucky to see three or four in late summer. I also have been lamenting of late, that I never, ever, see toads anymore. I used to catch them and let them go as a boy, but now they are gone. The loss saddens me more than is probably normal, it just seems to represent to me that our planet is in peril, and we are stewarding it straight to hell.

September 17, 2007 5:20 AM  
Blogger Big Ass Belle said...

BJ, that is an amazing process, isn't it? fat worm into ethereal flying creature? love it.

tony, you inspired this post. i've been wondering when i'd see them, based on your sightings up north, and here they are.

rodger ~ no butterflies in paradise? damn, i'm kind of shocked. too cool and rainy i guess?

farmboyz, To rise up into the sky and to veer and beat and light and just to catch a current and to be borne off to some place called my final place where I will have a task that I will seem to know instinctively. . . . how lovely is that?

Freddy ~ always the kidder ;-) . . . um, tell me you're kidding! NO! no orange reduction from these beautiful things. NO! NO! NO! why do you hate butterflies????? WHYYYYYYYY?

ugh. Ms. Place. how dreadful. we used to have to do that in science classes in grade school and junior high. i thought they stopped that. how awful :(

MC . . . not the same at all. probably what we're destined for, though, butterflies housed in the zoo. sigh.

tater ~ toads have diminished drastically. we used to have them in the garden all the time. haven't seen one now in a couple of years. and horned toads? almost nonexistent. so sad.

September 17, 2007 8:30 AM  
Blogger David said...

In NYC, aside from roaches, we don't get much in the way of insects.

September 17, 2007 12:37 PM  
Blogger kusala said...

I first noticed one a couple weekends ago at a local nursery, and have seen several flitting around since then. So beautiful.

Can you believe I live within 10 miles of this lovely place and have never gone there in monarch season in the 15 yrs I've lived here! I've got to get my ass out there this fall/winter. I hear that they cover the tree trunks and branches so thickly that if you didn't know they were there, you'd think they were leaves.

September 17, 2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

big ass belle, re: farmboyz.

"How lovely is that?" Hmm...dancing meter, with lashings of onomatopoeia? It's quite lovely.



October 03, 2007 3:18 PM  

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