This past August, Barb and I took a walk at Watershed Nature Center. Flowers were blooming everywhere - swamp rose mallow, black-eyed Susans, cone flowers, and others I couldn't name - and feeding on the bounty of nectar were several species of butterflies. After reading reports of declining populations in recent years, it was a relief to see several Monarchs among the other butterflies. Then, as if to punctuate the good feelings, we found one laying eggs on a milkweed plant. At about the same time, my brother in Wichita found several Monarch caterpillars on the milkweeds in their backyard flower garden, planted there for that purpose. They watched the caterpillars grow, pupate in their jewel-like chrysalis, and finally transform into gorgeous winged adults. Having been born so late in the summer, they are probably of the generation that migrated to Mexico to overwinter then head north next year. Perhaps we will enjoy seeing their grandchildren or great grandchildren next year.
Brent Langley is an internationally known artist who enjoys sharing his views on art and nature.