Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Oh my goodness! I have been so excited to tell you what I discovered in my garden this week that I’m just going to swan dive right in. And yes, I will probably use an excessive quantity of exclamation marks to tell you.
Migrating Monarchs ❣❣❣
I have noticed a couple of MONARCHS this week. These monarchs are extra special because they successfully overwintered in the mountains of central Mexico and are now migrating north for spring.
Although the picture I took isn’t very clear, you can see this lady flitting around our milkweed. Yes, she looks a little weary because, well, migrating is not a small thing. And even though our milkweed is barely showing itself, she found it through the miraculous sensory receptors in her legs and antennae.
Nature truly is a wonder. I can’t find my iPhone five minutes after I lay it down yet she had no trouble finding our milkweed sprouts among all the sprouting plants.
The day after I saw my first monarch, I was outside crawling around looking at the milkweed (as one does). Just as I hoped and somewhat expected, MONARCH EGGS!
So many eggs.
Probably 30+ eggs. Maybe 50 even.
Believe me, I took about forty-five other pictures of eggs on our milkweed plants, both swamp and orange butterfly varieties, but I imagine you don’t want to see all of them.
A female monarch lays 100-300 eggs during her short life; we were lucky enough to be the recipient of so many. Soon we will have baby caterpillars. Maybe today!
Two Other Sweet Surprises
I’m telling you, it was a week of sweet spring surprises.
While working in the rose garden at the Headquarters House, I came upon a robin sitting on her nest. She’d built her nest high in the trellis where I happened to be removing deadwood from a vining plant. Oh, we startled each other, that’s for sure. I apologized profusely while she perched on a nearby rooftop and fussed at me. Finally, realizing I meant no harm, she returned to her nest and watched as we mere human gardeners tended the area nearby.
I did manage to snap a quick picture of her nest.
See her sitting in her luxury high-rise at the Headquarters House?
Back at our house, a robin has built her nest on top of our electrical box. She chose a more modest location, although this particular area is filled with spicebushes and redbuds above a carpet of wild ginger, so maybe she prefers those plants. While I cut down a small dead dogwood nearby, she kept her eyes laser-focused me.
Later, when she was off foraging, I took a picture of her eggs.
There were only two eggs in her nest, but I wonder if she hasn’t laid another egg or two since then. Robins lay one egg a day, up to a total or three to four in a clutch.
Two robins. One lives within the white trellis of a rose garden, the other on an electrical box. At first glance, the rose garden home might seem the best, but I can assure you the bird of the electrical box has a steady supply of seed and mealworms, and fresh water in the bird bath daily.
They both added a little magic to my week.
What’s Blooming & Growing This Week
Wow! Everything is changing so quickly in the garden. Mr. Blue Sky has been smiling down on us all week, bringing the first iris and salvia blooms of the season. Also, our strawberries are in bloom, ferns are unfurling, and my favorite double ruffle peach daffodils are showing off. Of course, dandelion wishes are a’plenty, as are wood violets. (We leave the dandelions growing in our yard and allow wood violets to pretty much serve as an early spring ground cover in our flower beds.)
I love puttering around in the garden this time of year. Translation = I am not getting much serious writing done…
Things Momma Says:
Note: While Momma has been home on the farm the past few weeks, I’ve not been privy to her wisdom. So I sent her a text last night…
Me: Momma, I need a quote for this week’s Sunday Letter.
Momma: I may be in a lawsuit this time next week.
So there you have it.
Before I say goodbye, I want to tell you the gorgeous cut flowers in the first picture (and below) were grown by Dripping Springs Garden in Carroll County. I purchased a bouquet last week at Ozark Natural Foods, and they are still fabulous today.
Whether you grow or purchase flowers, a few fresh stems can sure brighten your home. I highly recommend it!
Happy Sunday, and thanks for reading today’s Sunday Letter.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.