Milkweed and Butterflies

I found a link on milkweed for regions of the U.S.A.¬† Apparently there are 73 species in the United States… I had no idea. They give instructions and I think need donations to restore these plants… and they even have instructions on seed collecting. I know, you can read all this yourself, but I need to write about it to get it out of my brain. For the longest time I have wished I had a really good camera. Not one that requires film but perhaps just uses a memory card. But, I am not a photographer and so wouldn’t know what to get that would be a really good camera, simple to use, lightweight for the novice [me], and not out of the park expensive. I mention this because I love to watch nature, especially bird watching, not that I have ever joined a bird watching club… but I have perused the National Audubon Society’s website trying to identify birds and bird songs. I loved it. But wouldn’t it be interesting to add a photo journal of things I see from butterflies and the milkweed plants and flowers to birds and perhaps waste and garbage? Okay, probably only interesting to me, but I am clever enough to upload those in to a gallery and post it as a slider. That visual content would be cool to peruse… perhaps a time or two. Think of photographing things that have changed over time.

Anyway, back to milkweed. One of the links is for the milkweed market. Although there seems to be a variety good for Coast to Coast planting, I think I am a believer of variety. So perhaps adding an additional variety or a few specific to your area.

milkweedOne specific to my area Asclepias fascicularis and another¬†Asclepias linaria which looks like a pine sapling to me… then the common all over the place Asclepias albicans. The Asclepias species alone has 140 known varieties. I looked at the cost of a flat and it is somewhere around $72. That seems like a lot, but I realize it isn’t. There are grants for schools and non-profits, but those are limited because of their high demand. I think I would have to order seeds and see if I could start them myself, after all I am not a billionaire. On a quick search I found I can get a packet for around $5 or 1/4 pound of seeds for $100 and just grow them in pea pods and transplant them. Hmm, yet another financial investment. Perhaps one initial investment and seed collection and the planting of those seeds would extend those funds… in my head that makes sense.

Whatever I do, I need a plan to begin doing this. Now is the time with this wonderful spring we are having, the rain and perfect temperatures. I just want there to be food for the butterflies as they arrive, especially this summer when they migrate back. Then again reviewing the instructions seems a little complicated [the propagation of the seeds]… no wonder they sell flats ready to go. My brain is starting to hurt from the thought of this being more challenging for me… but I will do it… challenge myself to figure out a plan.