Ok, I know there are some milkweed seeds below, but I promise there’s more than just milkweed seeds in this week’s Photo of the Week post. Also, these are butterfly milkweed seeds and most of the others I’ve posted this year have been common milkweed. If you’re tired of milkweed seeds, just scroll down for more. If you’re not tired of milkweed seeds, scroll down anyway. If you want – it’s your life.
Also, “there is more than just milkweed seeds?” Or “there are more than just milkweed seeds?” You wouldn’t say, “There is milkweed seeds” so are is probably the right word to use but it also sounds wrong to say “there are more than just milkweed seeds.” English is hard… How about this – just pretend I said “There are photos of other subjects besides just milkweed seeds”. I’m on pretty solid ground there.
While photographing those milkweed seeds at Lincoln Creek Prairie last week, I got distracted by the red leaves of smooth sumac. I’m still waiting to get a perfect autumn leaf photo of smooth sumac, and these don’t qualify, but I still like them.
Earlier this week, I was at the Platte River Prairies at sunrise. We haven’t had a hard freeze yet, so insects are still fairly abundant. Flowers, however, are not. Other than a few stray asters, most of the prairie color now comes in shades of golds and browns.
I’ve been seeing an awful lot of spider shelters suspended near the tops of plants this year. I’m not saying there are more of them, I’m just noticing them more for some reason. I still don’t know what the shelters are for, though. This late in the season, I wonder if the shelters are for winter cover, but maybe they’re just a safe overnight hiding place. Or maybe they’re for something else altogether? This particular spider seemed be hanging out in the sun outside of its shelter. I hope she gets the chance to catch a few more insects before winter comes.
Some parts of Nebraska had a big snow this week but we’re still holding on desperately to our warm autumn days here. Soon enough, that’ll end, but I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can while it lasts. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Talk to us about common milkweed vs. butterfly milkweed, please. Especially, do Monarchs only use one of them?
Well, monarch caterpillars will feed on both species but tend to prefer common milkweed, I believe. I think that’s partly because common milkweed has more toxicity (more of the white latex) than butterfly milkweed does. I’ve seen lots of caterpillars on both, though.
Further commentary on common and butterfly milkweed… You’d think, given the name, that butterfly milkweed would have bigger and more beautiful flowers than common, but that’s not necessarily true. It could be argued that butterfly milkweed flowers (orange) are more beautiful, but they’re definitely smaller than common milkweed flowers (pink).
I like the patterning created on the seed in the first photo. As for the from-below view of the grasshopper with the splayed-out legs — that’s pure fun.