08 July 2009

Nursery food (and a glimpse of Scotland)

I wandered up to the hayfield this evening, hoping to get some good cloud photographs. The dark skies weren't quite as impressive as I thought they might be, so I went to have a look at the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) flowers, which had been nearly open the last time I looked at them. It is a very distinctive plant and is well-known for its role as a host to the caterpillars of Monarch butterflies.

The leaves contain a poisonous sap, but the flower buds are edible if thoroughly cooked (I haven't tried this, yet). As I looked at the plant I was thinking that I have yet to see any Monarchs this year. Then I realised that there were two Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed that I was photographing, so there must be some around:

The dark clouds might not have been that photogenic, but I did like this white one, which seemed to resemble a map of Scotland. Or the way I draw the map of Scotland, anyway (i.e. a bit vague and woolly around the west coast):


Linda said...

Yes, great minds are thinking alike today Amanda. I love to have some milkweed in the garden to attract the monarch butterflies. I better get out and search for some caterpillars so I can have some photos of them this year.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Amanda you got some great pictures here girl ! I so want butterflies to leave their young on my garden plants .. dill fennel butterfly weed .. I have so many choices but nothing is happening yet .. BIG sigh.
I love the cloud picture .. and yes it does look like Scotland ! LOL

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I've never seen monarch caterpillars! They are beautiful!

easygardener said...

The caterpillar is very distinctive. Hope the butterflies appear in more numbers soon.
I was hopeless at drawing Britain at school - I always used one of those plastic shapes with the main towns marked. Not much good at geography either!

Linda said...

I can confirm that it's definitely Scotland. Never seen a cloud with the Hebrides included before!