It's now the beginning of March - hard to believe that two months have gone by this year already and we will soon be on daylight savings time. It's very obvious that it's been spring here for several weeks - it doesn't matter that the calendar says "February" (and now March). The oak trees have been dropping leaves like crazy - mine still are not done yet. The azaleas have been blooming for weeks and it's kinda crazy that they will be done before true spring starts.
Our milkweed plants survived the freeze we had - those in pots were moved to warm locations, those in the ground were covered carefully to protect them. It's a good thing we did that, we have caterpillars all over the place and we are quickly getting to bare branches on the milkweed. The monarch caterpillars are eating away very fast - definitely spring in the air.
This caterpillar is munching away at the branch itself - they do eat those after the leaves are gone.
If I stretch, can I get across to the next milkweed branch? (seems like it would be much easier than walking down one branch and then over to the next branch).
Another photo where the caterpillar is hanging off the branch trying to determine where to go next. I'm sure the caterpillar knows, but I don't.
Here's the milkweed flower cluster on another plant that is a good distance away from those that are currently loaded with caterpillars. We don't often see the flowers because the plant doesn't get a chance to flower before it is eaten by the caterpillars.
Here's another plant that has just a single bloom left. These are fairly small flowers, so the bottom photograph is a potentially showing bigger than life size if you're viewing this blog on anything other than your phone.
Soon I expect that the caterpillars will move off the milkweed to start the next journey in life as they wait to become beautiful butterflies.