I did a lot of “B” things today all before noon, which leaves me the rest of the day to enjoy in the garden.
First of all, I went to a butterfly festival. I mean, how could I NOT, right?
It was the North County Monarch Butterfly Festival in San Marcos, which isn’t too terribly far from me, but it’s inland and since we’re having a heatwave, I thought I’d go early. It was 95 degrees at 10:00 a.m. That’s HOT!
The North County Monarch Butterfly Festival featured butterfly-inspired art, crafts, clothing, gardening, live music, and food. I really wish the kids were here because it was the perfect fun and educational event for children.
Here’s what the event website had to say: The fate of the iconic Western monarch butterfly is tied inextricably to the health of the planet, and that means our fate as human beings is informed by the same forces that impact the monarchs. Simply put, if monarch butterflies thrive, so do we, along with all of the other inhabitants of the monarch universe; conversely, if the monarchs can’t thrive in this universe, then human beings can’t either.
This event – hopefully the first of many – will feature any and all aspects of the monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating, to discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, from conservation and migration to habitat restoration and creation, from diseases and predators to native plants vs tropical, from children’s activities to seed exchange.
I held a snake too, from the San Diego Herpetological Society, the same organization that helped me identify that Great Basin lizard that visited for a while last year. I’m not 100% sure what snakes and lizards have to do with butterflies, but me and all the other children loved it. The snake’s name is Matt. Isn’t he handsome?
All kinds of milkweed; I purchased the native variety. I also got a variety of milkweed called Hairy Balls, again, how could I NOT? Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly known as hairy balls, is a species of milkweed native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.
Yummy smelling soaps and lip balms. Lovely!
After that I drove back to the coast where it was noticeably cooler and stopped by the Bans Off Our Bodies rally gathering at our local train station. I was happy to see an awesome and exuberant crowd of like-minded folks while I took a few photos.
Bans Off Our Bodies
Blocks and blocks of people all the way to the beach! This is in front of Spin Records.
I like to take photos of the signs, all with their permission, by the way.
A little butterfly bliss and a show of support for reproductive rights sounds like a great day to me, don’t you agree? Time to plant that milkweed!
I thought about this: I’m lucky enough to experience a great deal of butterfly interactions; a continual source of joy and delight.
No photographic evidence exists to prove I’m telling the truth, but yesterday, as I was planting a bunch of California natives, a mourning cloak butterfly was fluttering all around me and then sat on my arm for about two minutes.
I tried to get to my phone to document this magic, but I couldn’t, so you’ll have to believe me. I guess she really really approved the locations where I planted the coffee berry and manzanitas!
This planting experience was a team effort: my son was on the phone with me when I was at the nursery having done the research about which specific plants to buy, and he also determined where each one should be planted. It’s not as much fun as having him here in real life. but we had a good time.
She came back today, blocking my way on the steps, so I was able to finally snap a photo.
Look at this orange butterfly feasting on an orange zinnia!
I’ve never seen it before and I was so excited to learn this is a Gulf Fritillary or passion butterfly (Agraulisvanillae) They’re “longwing butterflies”, which have long, narrow wings compared to other butterflies. Gulf Fritillary is the only member of genus Agraulis. From Wiki.
An orange butterfly represents passion. An orange butterfly sighting can remind us to stay focused on or follow through with a plan or project until it’s complete.
The orange butterfly is associated with the sun, life, and consciousness. Spotting an orange colored butterfly can signify that a new dawn of healing and heart transformation is about to occur for someone who has been depressed or anxious.
Orange colored butterflies have also been associated with courtesy, friendliness, and liveliness.
Seeing an orange butterfly reminds us to stay positive.
Having an orange butterfly land on you or fly near you means that joy will soon come into your life in some unexpexted way.
An orange butterfly can also encourage us to be more socialble or outgoing, or seeing one can indicate that a visitor will soon arrive, or an invitation to a social event is coming–especially if the butterfly is flying inside or around the home.
For days, I’ve been trying to capture a photo of this elusive angelic Western Tiger Swallowtail, but every single time I came close, he fluttered out of reach, teasing me. But I’m patient; I had a feeling he’d return and he did!
After chasing him/her for a week, I was talking to it, “You little bitch, stop moving around.” Maybe it knew I was on my last nerve. If any neighbors were out and about, I’m sure they thought I was talking to myself, but I wasn’t. I was talking to a BUTTERFLY. That makes all the diff.
It’s so hot this morning, I was allowed a brief moment to showcase the magnificence while feasting on the nectar of late summer flowers.
The photos aren’t the greatest; it’s hard to focus and run at the same time, but I think it captures a certain butterfly essence, the joie de vivre.
Rain of any kind in SoCal is something to be grateful for because for a brief moment, we can enjoy green and lush hills and gardens.
Now that we’re back to sunshiny blue skies again, I took pics of the lawn ‘cos it’ll never look this velvety smooth again.
Even though I have the flu or some version of it in spite of a flu shot, no way would I miss spending an entire day working in the garden. Dirty hands, twigs in my hair, muddy shoes. HEAVENLY.
But I wasn’t alone.
This happy gangsta butterfly not only followed me everywhere I was, but sat on my head for a few marvelous seconds, too! It’s too bad I couldn’t snap a pic but it was impossible, so you’ll have to trust me. Fluttering and flapping wings all around my face and head. And listen to the birds! So much joy.
Was there a message or a lesson the butterfly was attempting to convey? Or maybe just a shared joie de vivre?
We can coexist in peace, my friendly Mourning Cloak butterfly.
Yes, s/he was upside down or maybe I was upside down? It’s all in your perspective. Totally LOVING the apple blossoms.
Knowing that our rains are brief, all the plants put their best foot forward. The rosemary is a riot of blue flowers and bees.
Bees, so many bees!
Happy all planets direct and Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse tonight!