Adding a Second Patch – August 24, 2019

The North Plot looking northwest.

Ron sent me an email saying he had more milkweeds available if I wanted to plant more. I said, “Yes!” Lately, I have the sense that I am now an addict to building butterfly habitat, and Ron has become my supplier. Fortunately or not, the Fall is a time when the milkweeds go dormant. They begin to loose their leaves and just leave a solitary stick behind. The North Plot will be my last planting until the Spring.

I chose this area solely because of its proximity to another 2500 gallon rain water catchment tank. Both the North and South plots are also close to trees, which are needed for butterflies to roost.

Again, I dug holes and made wire baskets. I started at 5:30am to beat the sun. This time, though, my wonderful husband, David Raboy, jumped in to help me make the baskets. That is the part that takes the longest to do, and with the heat forecasted to be nearly 100 degrees, I welcomed the extra set of hands. Ron dropped the plants off around 9am. He was generous and provided me an 11th plant – a special milkweed species he found in Madera County. The pressure was on to make sure the plants were nicely in the ground to give them the best chance at a life here in Hornitos.

Heather watering the last milkweed plant to go into the ground. North Plot looking to the northeast.

I closely replicated the process that Ron and Bev showed me two weeks before. I was doing most of the work this time, and I did not realize how sore my back would be. It was worth it! All 11 plants were tucked into their holes in baskets by noon. It was searing hot. When I returned to the house my husband said, “You look like toast!” Indeed, my brown skin was about three shades darker. The sign of a morning well spent!

Several of the plants did not look like they would survive the planting. As Ron had pointed out, they were starting to go dormant, and inside pots is not their preferred place. I desperately hope that they will perk up and be as healthy as the South Plot plants. This patch is the one I am most concerned about.

Map of North Plot plantings.

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