There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Monarch Shenanigans at the Pollinator Gardens

It has seemed like a time of making and then cancelling plans. A friend of mine from out of state was expected to be in town this week, and a group of us old friends had big plans (made weeks and weeks ago) to have lunch outdoors at Duffy's in Boalsburg on Wednesday. But then came the hurricane, and the dire flood warnings. And we discovered that Duffy's is not serving lunch at this time due to lack of kitchen help.

So at first, it looked like our big plans might be cancelled. But then we regrouped, and we decided to move our lunch date to Thursday, and to The Field at Toftrees, instead. Hooray! I'd get to see my friends after all, and have a very nice lunch. I also planned to fit in a visit to the Arboretum, where LOTS is going on at the present moment. More on that in a second.

It was pouring down rain pretty much all day on Wednesday, but it broke late in the afternoon and began to clear. We got about three to four inches of rain in central PA, where I live; in the southeastern parts of the state, they got eight or nine inches. That's a lot of water! In contrast, Thursday morning was glorious: cool, clear, sunny, crisp, delightful; almost like one of the very first fall days!

So my friends and I were able to sit outdoors and enjoy the blue sky and sunshine, which was warm on our shoulders. We got to sit and catch up, we friends - who have been friends for more than 35 years! - and everything felt the same among us as it ever was, though it seems we've been apart far too much lately.

The Field is famous for its burgers, and so I ordered the Field burger, topped with lettuce, red onion, tomato, provolone cheese, and brioche roll. There is a photo of it in the extras. You may envy me if you want, sitting in the sun outdoors on one of the first autumny days, eating a big, tasty burger like this, and enjoying the company of dear, old friends!

I also visited the Arboretum, and I am happy to report that I saw so many monarch butterflies that I couldn't even count them! In the center of the children's garden, there is a stand of orange zinnias that they love; they practically jostled each other, moving from bloom to bloom.

And in the pollinator gardens, I saw monarchs too! I spotted these two enjoying some afternoon delights. I first saw them sitting on these purple flowers, but then they flew - wobbly, wonky, together - and landed on some green leaves, where I took a few more shots. I admit it looked . . . awkward. Flying is especially tough when you're . . . well, locked in love's embrace.

The monarch embrace seemed like exactly the sort of thing a pollinator garden is designed for. Though I admit that when I saw them like this, I looked around, wondering if there would be enough milkweed for any little caterpillars that may result from this union. In any case, please enjoy this photo of monarch shenanigans on a perfectly beautiful late summer/early fall afternoon!

My soundtrack song has to be this one: Marvin Gaye, with Let's Get It On.

P.S. On this day, three brand new monarch butterflies, born to wings on our deck, amid the Mexican sunflowers, took flight! Bon voyage, my butter-babies! Fly high and strong, all the way to Mexico!!!

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