Common Milkweed and Butterfly Weed (a type of milkweed) have been two of my favorite wildflowers for a long time. Both species are blooming and about to bloom all around the property, and will continue throughout the summer. These plants are essential for Monarch butterflies to thrive, but unfortunately, Monarchs have been declining due to habitat loss. So seeing vast patches of Milkweed is a welcome sight! Monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of these leaves, eat only milkweed, and besides being essential to monarchs, these native plants support a variety of other insects as you will see below.
Not pictured, but observed: Eastern Kingbird nestlings doing a begging call on the lower terrace, and then an Eastern Kingbird parent flying in with grub. There were a couple Eastern Comma butterflies that would never quite land long enough for a photo, and seemingly a family of Eastern Cottontail Rabbits crossing trails.
New wildflowers are blooming all over the Center. Next time you visit Schlitz Audubon, count how many different plant species are blooming on the short walk from the parking lot to the main building!