by Donna Lewis
The Milkweed Project a few of our El Camino Real Chapter Master Naturalists started last year is still ongoing. We were given a grant to obtain these. Chapter member, Cathy Johnson, applied for the grant for us.
No matter what the weather throws at us, we love it. We actually want the conditions to be as close as they can to nature, and we all know the Mother can be unpredictable. If we provide too much help, we can not call them natural.
I had planted four areas of Zizotes. Weather and critters have taken out three of the areas, with one remaining. I have never watered the plants this year. I wanted them to be on their own.
I also have some Antelope Horn plants that started growing on our drive shell driveway from seeds I planted some time ago. I want to have an open buffet for the Monarchs!!!!
Just another note: while I was looking at all the milkweed today, I heard some interesting chatter on some of the milkweed plants and some other native cowpen daisies. I stayed still for a moment, and saw that there were two Carolina wrens upside down going after insects on the plants.
These are interesting little birds. We had four sets of babies this year in our barn. They are so tiny at birth.
So many many wild things to see, so little time. By the way, one of the best books I have for Monarchs is the book Milkweed, Monarchs and More by Ba Rea, Karen Oberhauser, and Michael A. Quinn.