Milkweeds and a Woodpecker

by Lisa Milewski

Milkweed Report

Members of our chapter have been participating in a Monarch Watch Milkweed Project, where we each try to grow some plants and carefully monitor them. Mine don’t seem to be growing as well as some of the others’ plants. Maybe I’m over-thinking!

I picked up the plants on May 2. They are antelope horns (Asperula).

That’s the plants, bottom left.

I planted them on May 4 in a raised bed garden (formerly my vegetable herb garden that didn’t do well since I am still learning how to get a green thumb.J  However, I left the fern leaf dill for the black swallowtail caterpillars which love them are doing well. 

The planting spot.

They are in mixed soil (1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite).

Since the planting, I have tracked the rainfall and dates I hand watered the plants. I take photos of them every week for my logbook. Here are the most recent pictures:

I’m going to try to add the grass clippings around and not water too much, maybe?  Wish me luck. 

Annie the Woodpecker

I told the people at last week’s chapter meeting about Annie the red-bellied woodpecker, who has been hanging around the food pantry in the church building in Hutto where I do a lot of my volunteer work.

We’re hoping to discourage her from pecking away at the wooden cross on the property, but not chase her away entirely. I have really enjoyed watching Annie. These pictures are taken through a dirty window, but you can see her pretty well!