|Monarch on Coreopsis tripteris (tall tickseed)|
When I got home from teaching yesterday, my wife and I released 7 monarchs (5 more today). One made a mad dash for the sky, the rest flitted and settled on the bald cypress, morning glories, or butterfly bushes. Nearby a preying mantis waited. The skippers and soldier beetles, numbering in the hundreds if not thousands, patrol every last bloom, often resting in my hair or on my shirt. Bumblebees wedge into shriveled up morning glories and thin-lipped turtlehead blooms. Recently, a hummingbird has begun stopping by an hour or two before dusk to nectar at every last 'Nekan' blue sage bloom.
|Bumble bee on Chelone 'Hot Lips'|
Ants are harvesting the aphids. Tent caterpillars have invaded the baptisia (it looks like Halloween). A highlighter-yellow goldfinch picks dried coneflower seeds from a blackened stalk.
|Soldier beetle pulling itself up to Eupatorium 'Wayside' bloom|
Only 1,500 square feet and I think about how much I'm still missing, but know how much I've ceased to miss. Such a small place can become one that is infinite--the purest essence of wonder.