The good news is, I saw my first monarch butterfly today. It was drinking nectar from the butterfly weed. It looks like a newly hatched monarch. The ones that wintered in Mexico are usually tattered and worn out by the time they get here. On their way back to the states, they start laying eggs along the way. I think this beautiful one is a second generation monarch. If you ever get the chance to watch the flight of the monarchs story, it is amazing. A butterfly doesn't live very long. But, the ones that travel thousands of miles to winter in Mexico live several months, just so they can travel thousands of miles to come back to their summer homes and keep the species going. They lay eggs along the way, before they die.
Chicadees are some of my favorite birds. They are so tiny and so, so cute with cute personalities. They're friendly and come close to where I am in the yard and just chatter and I think they're talking to me and I talk back. They're clingers and it's so cute how they jump to the next branch and swing upside down to eat the bugs or seeds or whatever they're after. Sooo cute!! The little chickadee in the photo was jumping around and I got the best photo I could.
So, the sad news is...I went over to check my little black swallowtail caterpillars and saw two paper wasps hovering around the fennel and they had eaten everyone of those little caterpillars. So many people save and allow the paper wasp nests to exist because they want perfect foliage and to keep caterpillars out of their vegetable gardens. I'm certainly not one of those people!! I want all of the caterpillars that can grow in my garden. I will discourage any wasp nests I see around my yard. But, I have so much foliage and so many bird houses that I can't always find the nests. I just have to watch around the yard to see the wasps going in and out of something and that's how I know where the nest is and I get rid of it.
Oh, well!! There will be more caterpillars and I will watch very carefully for the paper wasps and their nests.