It is Sunday morning and a part of me is feeling so smooth and crisp today. I have my fuzzy blanket wrapped around my legs and I am cozily smugged with my two fur babies. A few years ago I wrote about, how my sister and I, built a small monarch station in the backyard of my parents’ home. We planted milkweeds, rosemary, lavender, and self sowing wild flowers. The last year and a half the three feet lot has been, primarily, a pollinating hub for honey bees.
We decided to build a monarch station after learning the California monarch population declined by 86%. The decline is attributed to the declining milk weed food source and herbicides. While visiting an urban garden, one beautiful afternoon in Long Beach, an urban farmer asked if we could grow a plot in my parents’ enormous backyard. To which we responded, “Of course!”
It’s been two years, and our plants are growing abundantly and beautifully. This is because we grew drought resistant species. It was a bit discouraging to see the milkweeds growing abundantly with no monarchs/caterpillars in sight. However, last week I spotted the first monarch caterpillar. It was a chubby little guy, the size of my pinky. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am terrified of caterpillars! I was so excited but could not, for the life of me, get myself to do a summary count of the caterpillars in the overall milkweed bush.
All of my plants are organically grown, meaning I use zero pesticides and/or chemicals. I try to plants species that are drought resistant. Most of them repel various harmful insects or species alongside one another. It’s exciting to see this new monarch development, especially since Monarchs are one of the most well known pollinators in North America.
Monarchs particularly have a significant meaning to me. When I was younger, I used to watch my grandmother garden. A few times a year, a large monarch would fly through the backyard, and she would always say it was grandpa saying hello. She mentioned monarchs were a sign of loved ones passed, coming by to say hello. She was my primary caretaker growing up and I felt like I lost my mother when she passed away. She was the emblem of unconditional love. To have a monarch station, with monarchs, is to have a place where my grandmother can constantly shower me with her blessings. It is a place that she sends her love letters. It has such a deep meaning to me.
Many blessings on this beautiful Sunday.