Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Common Milkweed ~ Asclepias syriaca

Please check out a review of Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! on Isabelle Lafleche’s wonderfully fun blog Pink Lemonade. Isabelle is an author residing in Montreal. She first wrote about my book after seeing it at the New York book expo last spring and we have been corresponding ever since. The winner of a free copy of Oh Garden will be selected at random from comments left on her blog and anyone can leave a comment.

Much to share — following the success of my Monarch butterfly exhibit several years ago, I have been invited to create an all new exhibit at the Sawyer Free Library. If you don’t hear from me over the next few weeks, it is because I am deeply involved in preparations. The photo/journal exhibit, with video footage, will be at the Matz Gallery at the Sawyer Free for the month of September. The lecture date is Thursday, September 10th at 7:00 pm. The exhibit is made possible through partial funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Serendipitously, an article that I wrote (with photos) about the Monarchs will be appearing in the upcoming fall issue of Cape Ann Magazine, which will be available in mid-August at bookstores (Toad Hall and The Bookstore), Richdales, and other local markets.

I was bemoaning that one part of the story that was missing from the exhibit was a photograph of a female Monarch ovipositing (depositing an egg). I believe that because of the many months of cold and rain brought about by air currents dipping further south than usual, the Monarch population in our region is way down from previous years. Fantastically, especially because there are so few on the wing this year, a female Monarch was in our garden several days ago, laying eggs in our little milkweed patch, which reminded me to remind you of the importance of growing milkweeds. The photo attached is the female Monarch (you can tell she is a female by her dark, smokier colored wing patterning) nectaring at marsh milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). She was laying eggs on both the common and marsh milkweeds, which we grow side-by-side, and yes, after many hours of patiently standing in the milkweed patch, I did get a snapshot of her ovipositing.

On another note, I received over a hundred email responses after writing the article In the Wake of Godzilla. All but two concurred. Steve Reynolds, a member of the zoning board, was one of the two, and wrote an interesting response. I have sent him a response in turn. All those who wrote to me regarding Gloucester Crossing will automatically receive a copy of Mr. Reynold’s letter and of my response. If you did not write, but would also like to receive a copy, please feel free to email me at kimsmithdesigns {at}

P.S. Since i wrote this note yesterday, many Monarch caterpillars have emerged. The siblings are voraciously munching on the milkweed.

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