|Monarch Butterfly on Tall Verbina|
The little darling fluttered between the verbina in the entry garden and the buddleia in the cottage garden and I followed it around for nearly an hour and took dozens of pictures.
|Monarch on butterfly bush, buddleia davidii|
As you probably know, monarch butterflies are unique because they migrate from north to south like birds. Each fall, hundreds of millions make their way from the Eastern United States and Canada to the mountains of central Mexico, where they pass the winter. New generations of monarchs return north between April and June. It's now the middle of August and until today there was no sign of them in my garden. It's normal for the monarch population to vary from year to year -- click to read what MSN news says about the steep decline this year. The Boston Globe reported: 'Scientists say the exact cause for the monarch’s decline is hard to pin down, but it probably stems from unfriendly weather patterns caused by climate change, as well as overdevelopment of the butterfly’s natural habitat, including the destruction of milkweed, the only plant on which females lay their eggs.' I grow milkweed in my garden, specifically to attract monarchs, but this year they have not yet found my plants. Usually there are several monarch caterpillars on my milkweed at this time.
|One of five milkweed plants in my kitchen garden|
|Hummingbird Moth on Milkweed|
|Sunflower, Del Sol Hybrid|
The purple cone flowers are beginning to fade now, but they are still bee magnets.
While many of my perennials are fading, or have been beaten down by rain, the zinnias are putting on a fabulous show in the kitchen garden.
|Zinnias outshine my vegetables.|
The zinnias in these pictures are Cut and Come Again Mix. Every spring I start zinnias from seed indoors, and this year I also grew Pinwheel and Raspberry Lemonade.
|See the hummingbird on the top-right flower.|
|Another female ruby-throated hummer|
|Canna leaves making a bold statement.|
|A frog and two water lilies.|
|Helianthus (perennial Sunflower)|
Nearby, one of my favorite blooms today is that of my pannicle hydrangea. The blossoms started out white with little pink specks, and progressed to deep pink.
This hydrangea was new last year and is growing nicely behind the patio fence.
I am happy to see several rose bushes are showing a few blossoms. My favorite is Peace ...
Before finishing my Bloom Day walk, I picked a few vegetables, including the last cabbage. Cabbages aren't usually growing this late, but we had very cool (below normal) temps. this month.
I have many more blooms today, but I am exhausted from chasing that wonderful monarch butterfly, so I'll keep those pictures for another posting. Are you seeing monarchs in your garden, this year? Or if your garden is not in the monarch butterfly's range, are other butterflies declining in your area?
Wishing you a happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Do check out May Dreams Gardens to see what's blooming around the world!
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