I have a heart for one the most iconic symbols of this country - the monarch butterfly. I've always been fascinated by them and entranced by their beautiful markings and how they metamorphose while being encased in a green jewel chrysalis. When I became a gardener, I learned of the importance they play in their role as a pollinator.
|Monarchs nectar on many plants, such as this coneflower (Echinacea purpurea),|
but they only lay eggs on milkweed plants.
Besides their beauty and utilitarian function though, is the miracle of their migration. How a creature that is two months old or less knows to leave their place of birth at just the right time and travel thousands of miles to a very specific location where they've never been before is incredible. Not everything is known about just how they do this, but the fact that they do is one of the world's wonders.
|This monarch is nectaring on swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in my garden.|
In recent years, the monarch population has declined drastically, due to loss of habitat and the use of pesticides. Monarchs require plants in the milkweed family (Asclepias spp.) on which to raise their young. These are the only things they eat as caterpillars. So gardeners are encouraged to grow milkweed in their gardens to try to help. Recent reports are that efforts are helping, even if the progress is very slow. Keep up the good work, people!
|The monarch dress launched Luly Yang's |
career as a fashion designer.
I did a little research online about the dress and read an article about Luly Yang. The article had a photograph of Yang, wearing a beautiful monarch design scarf. Hmmm... a monarch scarf. I could do that. Because the monarch dress wasn't for sale and I wouldn't be able to afford a single wing of it anyway. So I began a search for a monarch scarf.
As we communicated back and forth, I was interested in what led Kim to choose the monarch as the inspiration for her design. I had a feeling she felt a connection with nature, and I was right. We chatted one day about her art...
|That's my monarch scarf, nearly completed.|
|Kim works on creating one of her original scarf designs.|
|I don't usually wear the scarf in my hair, but it's long enough that I can!|