What's nice about my time off from writing is that I've been doing nesting type things, like staining a bookshelf, cleaning up the office for the next book, and gardening. And now, finally, noticing that the monarchs have indeed been here a few weeks though I'd given up hope. Last year we had over 30 larva on just one plant.
Today it was 3 larger cats, a small one, and several eggs on swamp and sullivant's milkweed. Nothing on whorled, poke, tuberosa or the others--yet. But soon the leaves will be gone, and not because of grasshoppers.
Over lunch today it was nice seeing dragonflies, a black swallowtail, moths, bees, wasps, and two monarchs (male and female--you can tell easily from a distance because the males are at the flowers lounging while the females are hard at work on the leaves). Lots of life, not to mention the lone resident baby bunny who runs if I get within 20 feet.
UPDATE -- And black swallowtail cats are here, too!