I have a gazillion things to blog about - Rowe Woods, some private gardens, the Cincinnati Flower Show, my final Master Gardener class, the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz, our trip to the Holland Tulip Festival, greenhouse visits, and about 10 product reviews - and I promise I'll get to all of them. But there was an event at Our Little Acre this evening!
Romie and I were out planting some of the plants I have been sent to test, as well as some that I purchased during the last gardening trip. It may be a little early to put the tomatoes out, especially because we're predicted to have a frost this weekend, but I can cover them as they're fairly small yet. The cold weather won't last.
As I walked up to the house to get one of the tomatoes ('Tomaccio'), I walked past the beautimous Japanese Tree Peony that is in full glorious bloom. Since it is drop dead gorgeous, I can't stop looking at it. It smells wonderful, too, so I stopped to admire it for the umpteenth time.
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Sahohime'
Just as I started to walk away, a large butterfly flew in for a look, too. You know how your eyes see something, but it takes your brain a little while to catch up, simply because what you're seeing is unexpected? That's exactly what happened to me when I realized it was a Monarch, stopping for a sip of nectar.
Sighting Monarchs now is certainly early for our part of the country, but since everything else has been early, why not the Monarchs, too? I ran to the house to get my camera, but when I returned less than a minute later, it was gone.
In my hurry to get my camera, I failed to observe which sex it was, but I did notice it was in pristine condition. Since most of the Monarchs that reach us here are the offspring of those that winter over, I suppose that shouldn't be surprising. If you live in Texas, perhaps my Monarch was born in your back yard!
Journey North tracks the Monarch sightings as they migrate north, so I went to their site and reported mine. There are a few others that were spotted today that are a little further north of us, but these are definitely the first arrivals!