“First Thursday” at Wild Center

Due to scheduling issues the First Thursday at the Wild Center was held on the First Tuesday in September. We had some hot and steamy weather September 1, but nonetheless some hardy souls showed up to cut off bull thistle and Canada thistle seed heads before they cast their seed in the prairie. Being that this prairie was only seeded 5 years ago it looks really good with a lot of native diversity. There are still ongoing challenges with unwanted plants like Queen Ann’s lace, sow thistle, wild parsnip, etc., but it is coming along nicely. There was even some lovely bottle gentian and great blue lobelia in bloom this evening. Awesome.

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I was also fortunate on this Wild Center volunteer night to capture some photos of an adult monarch butterfly gathering nectar on a stiff goldenrod and also a monarch caterpillar feeding on the host plant Asclepias incarnate (aka red milkweed or swamp milkweed).   This plant and its sister plant asclepias tuberosa (aka butterfly weed) are more colorful and ornamental than the common milkweed (asclepias syriaca); yet the monarchs love to lay their butterfly eggs on them.   If you like butterflies like I do, red milkweed and butterfly weed would be an excellent addition to have in your flowerbed.

Written by Rich Fischer

Posted by Vicki

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