If you plant it they will come (Monarch Butterflies)

August is the season of the annual butterfly invasion of my back yard.

I’m not responsible for it. The Chasteberry bush was in my yard when I moved here almost 2 decades ago. It grows big and wide (8-10 feet tall and wide), it’s not pretty, and smells terrible. It actually gives me a headache when I trim it, i.e., a mild allergic reaction. But I put up with it just so I can enjoy these scenes in August. It’s like a busy airport for monarchs and other butterflies and bees.

When I started hearing about monarch butterfly numbers diminishing a few years ago, I thought it was a story concocted to advance a political agenda. The monarchs had never let up on their visits to my yard, and it never occurred to me that things were different elsewhere. It’s the bush. It brings all sorts of butterflies and bees.

Each year late in the fall after there’s been a freeze, I cut the bush down to the ground, and reclaim that corner of my yard. Then every summer the bush grows back with a vengeance, and then in August the Monarchs return to frolic with each other, do touch-and-goes, and feast on the purple flowers.

The Chasteberry has potential medicinal properties. I can’t speak to those properties with any authority, but the aroma and it’s power to give me a headache makes me not doubt its potential. The National Institute of Health has a page on the Chasteberry. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chasteberry

The Chasteberry has similarities in appearance to the more well known ‘Butterfly Bush’, aka, Buddleia. However, the Buddleia grows into a smaller, more compact bush, with a fuller purple flower than the Chasteberry. The Buddleia bush might be a more visually pleasing option for a front yard. Like the Chasteberry, the Buddleia also looks easy to grow, to the point of being a challenge to contain.

The Farmer’s Almanac has a page on the Buddleia bush and other butterfly attracting plants. https://www.almanac.com/plant/butterfly-bush

If a big bush isn’t right for your space, Zinnias attract butterflies too, are super easy to grow, and look pretty through the window.

And because there’s no such thing as too many butterfly pictures:



Checking in on the Song Draft over on Slicethelife.com, we are now on Round 3. Here’s the awesome playlist from the first three rounds. https://slicethelife.com/2021/08/15/2021-song-draft-recap-rounds-1-3/

The latest Run|Sew|Read pick goes back to music my teenage parents grooved to before I was born: http://slicethelife.com/2021/08/09/2021-song-draft-round-3-pick-8-run-sew-read-selects-apache-the-shadows/

And for the synchronised guitar dance moves:

4 thoughts on “If you plant it they will come (Monarch Butterflies)

  1. Great pictures! I’ve seen those Chasteberry things before… I want to sneeze just looking at the picture. It’s worth putting up with it just to have them come back every August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The bush doesn’t make me sneeze, but as soon as I smell the scent of it, I have an instant headache that can grow into a full migraine with enough exposure. So, I keep my contacts with the bush brief. I love standing there and watching all of the flying and buzzing things on it, though. It’s amazing how many things it attracts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seeing those butterflies make it all worthwhile…sounds like if you keep your distance it’s alright…I would wear a mask…couldn’t hurt!

        I think this draft is my favorite of them all. If you don’t know an album or a movie it’s hard to comment…with a song it’s easy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, I keep thinking I should try wearing a mask, and I always forget when I’m out there. I certainly have enough masks.

        I’m enjoying this song draft the most too. The songs have all been great, the ones I know and the ones I’m being introduced to for the first time.

        Liked by 1 person

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