June 28, 2022
Today is Tuesday. Yesterday’s downpour put an end to the peonies. But in their place, the milkweed flowerheads have begun to open. Hard to believe anything this beautiful is classified as “common,” but that’s all this is. Common milkweed, or Asclepias syriaca L. if you’re fancy, just don’t ask me what the L stands for because I have absolutely no idea.
Once they start opening, the whole front yard takes on a sweet, fruity fragrance that’ll stop you in your tracks.
We’re letting the milkweed take over part of the yard because it is the only, I repeat only leaf that a monarch caterpillar will eat. Can you imagine being that picky? Can you imagine your survival depending on the availability of just one plant? I can’t.
It’s not a blameless plant, mind you. The whole thing is poisonous and spreads quite freely. We’ll be pulling it out of the flower bed for years, I know this. But wouldn’t you be a little aggressive too if you knew a whole species relied on you?
“The earth is not a mechanism but an organism, a being with its own life and its own reasons, where the support and sustenance of the human animal is incidental.”
p.s.—It turns out the L stands for this guy, also known as “the father of modern taxonomy.” You learn something new every day.