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Crimson-eyed Rose Mallow...

Crimsoneyed rosemallow sm wWM-1.jpg
Got to the marsh the other day and thought that they had added a "petting zoo" exhibit for a minute...she was happily munching on the greenery.

Doe sm wWM-1.jpg

I didn't want her to spook and run towards the road that is behind me in the photo, so I circled to the left on a side trail and came up behind her and she didn't even notice I was there. Just kept on eating the good stuff. I guess it doesn't matter to her that "Everything in the marsh is protected!"

Doe 2 sm wWM-1.jpg

I continued on my way, and she finally wandered back into the marsh.
My wife and I are volunteering to monitor and track Monarch butterflies in the marsh this summer. We have assigned trails and go out once per week and count the milkweed plants and check them for Monarch eggs, instars (caterpillar stages), and butterflies. It's pretty cool actually. We had to go through a training course and we turn in reports that are used by the University of Minnesota's Monarch butterfly program. We see lots of these little guys on the milkweed plants - Red Milkweed Beetles. I love their antennae!

Red Milkweed Beetle sm wWM-1.jpg
Tell me you pick random flowers you find from your walks and bring them home to your wife.
I love her, but I ain't going to jail! Almost everything I post is from protected land. :)

However, the marsh has native plant giveaways and we do get stuff and bring it home from there when they have those. Some things, like daylilies, button bush, and chicory you can literally find along many of the roads and ditches here in Indiana. They planted a lot of those back during the "dust bowl" to prevent soil erosion. We also had a lot of C.C.C. camps, many are now state parks here and a lot of that stuff was used for soil erosion prevention there as well. The only time we can pick anything legally in the marsh is when they have volunteer days for removing invasive plants and weeds.

Our city's parks department also has giveaways where you can get all sorts of flowers, plants, and even ornamental shrub starts. They even do it online so you can order what you want, and they will have the order ready, and you just stop and pick it up. It's very inexpensive, a couple of dollars a plant vs. buying from an actual nursery and many times the plants seem to be heartier and are easier to transplant. Right now, she's got tulips, peonies, tea roses, lilacs, columbines, daffodils, tiger lilies, Pompas grass, lantana, and petunias. She's going to plant some chicory in the next few days. She likes my pictures of the flowers and decided to add that and some milkweed to start a little "native plant" area in her flower garden for the butterflies and bees.

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