We have weeds growing in the school garden. We planted them there. Specifically, we have five species of milkweed, two of which are in bloom right now.
I spent one morning this week collecting data on the Monarch butterfly eggs and larvae on the milkweed plants for a citizen science project – in the fall the students will take over this as a project for science class. As a lot of you probably know, Monarchs incorporate the toxins from the milkweed into their bodies, which makes them nasty-tasting to potential predators. Since this is such a great strategy, it makes sense that other insects would have hit on it too, such as these Red Milkweed Beetles. It’s not a coincidence that they have the same red and black warning colors as the butterflies!
After the very hot weather this week, a front finally came through and cooled things off this afternoon. I was almost chilly while I was taking these photos. It was soooooo nice.