Friday, September 21, 2012

Congested Air Space

One of the things that makes me very happy is the number of butterflies in my back yard.

Gulf Fritillary butterflies getting a snack.
This spring during the Monarch migration, the backyard became hazardous.  As I gardened I was slammed into several times by wayward fliers.  I could seriously use an air traffic control tower or some guys on the ground guiding the Monarchs, Swallowtails and Gulf Fritillary fliers.

As a kid I was lucky to be surrounded by Monarchs.  In the 60’s the orchards and pastures in Southern Oregon all had masses of milkweed and it was one of the northern ranges on the migratory route.  All of us would raise caterpillars in jars and watch them hatch into those glorious creatures.  Our third grade teacher must have raised thousands in her classroom and instilled in each of her students an awe and appreciation for the whole cycle.

Imagine my delight to discover that my new home in Texas was right in the path of the migration.  I immediately began planting milkweed for the caterpillars and mistflower, zinnias, and other flowers for the adults.  The first spring saw just a few passer-bys but this year I had several and hatched out at least two batches of adults.

Sadly, I watched most of this from my window.

Unfortunately, I had another type of congestion – I came down with allergies really bad.   At first I didn’t know what it was.  I just thought I was losing my health.  I kept getting bad colds or bronchitis and my energy was zero.  I lost all interest in playing in the yard and had to drag myself to things I normally enjoyed.  My boss also seemed to be suffering and we teased each other about passing germs.  When he was finally diagnosed with allergies and put on medication, I was politely ordered to make an appointment.  He was right.  Testing revealed that I am officially allergic to my cat, dust mites, and tree/grass pollen.  Lucky me.

So now I’m on a drug cocktail to alleviate my symptoms and it is just in time for fall gardening.  I feel so much better!  Just the other day I was back out there getting my vegetable beds ready for planting.  I was weeding near the mist flowers when WHAM, I got biffed by a Monarch.  They are on their way back to Mexico.

Glad to be back.  A little butterfly wing dust never hurt anyone.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you discovered the culprit to your symptoms. There have been a few monarchs in my garden lately too. They make me so happy!