King for a day

Winter is coming, and with it the monarch butterflies are flocking back into SLO County. We plant a wide variety of native species in our garden to attract local birds and butterflies, and we have several small milkweed bushes, which are the monarch’s primary source of sustenance. But here’s one feasting on a bouquet of semi-native, super-aromatic mexican marigold. Must be delicious!

For some reason, the monarchs take no interest in any of the several varieties of bamboo that are potted throughout the yard, but of course, bamboo isn’t native to California. And one of bamboo’s chief advantages is its total lack of enemies. Unlike cotton, which is extremely susceptible to pests like the bull weevil, bamboo appears nowhere on any insect’s menu. Perhaps this is part of why bamboo spreads so aggressively, because no insects have come forward to aid in the process of pollination.

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