On the Road

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I missed my bees when  I was on vacation.  I found myself looking for pollinators everywhere I went — while taking a walk, shopping at a nursery, or enjoying dinner on my sister’s patio.  Southwestern Michigan is blessed with a generous population of common milkweed, the host plant for the beautiful Monarch butterfly.  As a child I loved the heavy fragrance of these roadside flowers.  It seemed there was always something interesting to see in the milkweeds: tiny Monarch eggs laid in tight patterns on the undersides of the leaves, plump caterpillars dressed in wild stripes, humble dusty flowers nodding in redolent clumps, pods bursting with soft fluff to carry off neatly-packed seeds.  I was delighted to discover that my old childhood favorite is also popular with the local honey bees.  This milkweed had sprung up in the middle of a nursery we visited.  Happy bee!  (And happy far-from-home beekeeper!)

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