My grandmother was an immaculate housekeeper and gardener. She was so immaculate, in fact (I’m not making this up) when we came for visits to her house, we children had to stay in the basement for most of our visit so we didn’t mess up her stuff. Granted, it was a furnished basement with a kitchen, bathroom, and sitting room but for most of the years of my childhood there was no TV down there, which meant she expected us to do stuff like read.
Right now, you probably think this post is going to be about reading or being an immaculate housekeeper or gardener, but you’re wrong. This is a blog about monarch butterflies.
Grandma was also a big on nature, specifically bugs. (I’m not making this up: She loved praying mantises so much that she had several dead ones on her flower arrangements as decorations. At her funeral, she requested that one of the dead praying mantises be placed on the floral arrangements on her casket.) Grandma really liked monarch butterflies. So much so, that despite keeping an immaculate yard, she dedicated a portion of her garden at the side of her house to growing milkweeds. Yes, she cultivated milkweeds because monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds. That’s about all the caterpillars will eat.
I’ve been busy writing, my husband has been out of town, and I can’t pay my children enough money to weed our yard. So for the last few months our backyard has looked like a monarch habitat zone. I see them fluttering around, reminding me that yes, the milkweeds are still there.
I’m pretending that I’m a naturalist. I’m doing it for the monarchs. Grow little milkweeds, grow.