About this blog

The original intention of this blog was to help promote my handcrafted jewelry and beading supplies. However, I believe I lead an interesting life (which Dave gets a lot of credit for), so you will often find ramblings about things other than beads and jewelry! Hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoy living it!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We have alot of scarlet milkweed growing in our yard. This particular plant is know for attracting monarch butterflies. It's very easy to grow and will spread like wild fire. Some people don't like it because it actually has an "ugly" stage. After the leaves are big and green and the little flowers have sprouted, the caterpillars move in and feed on the plants. They will devour every last leaf and bloom (if you look really closely at the pictures, you can actually see where the caterpillars have been taking bites of the leaves). That's when the ugly stage happens. The plant is left with no leaves or blooms...just long twig like branches. But what's really neat, especially for someone like me who has trouble growing stuff is that these plants will grown right back. A few weeks after the ugly stage starts, we snip the twig like branches down so that they are only a few inches long (we've had some grow to over 3 feet). The plants will come back again bigger and bushier than before. I'm not really sure what the "season" is for these plants because they seem to go through multiple cycles each year. While we haven't seen any yet this year, in past years we've actually seen the caterpillars form their cocoons on these plants and were able to watch the monarch butterflies emerge. I'll have to keep a close eye on them this year as it seems like we have more caterpillars than ever.


  1. That's pretty cool! Those pics you captured are awesome!

  2. Wow! Amazing photos Shelly! We used to get massive infestations of caterpillars in our willow tree, but they weren't the monarch butterfly kind! Hope you can get more photos when they emerge :) How cool!