A Butterfly Buffet

As Spring unfolded, so too did the flowering plants of the yard. The wildflowers were first. Then the thistles in the grass. The butterflies and the bees alike visited each flower at a purpose-driven pace. It was like a super highway of buzzing creatures. The dogs chased the butterflies and i chased the dogs, yelling at them to let the delicate things of nature be. My favorite flower this year became the thistle. I had always loved hibiscus flowers but when i saw how many creatures the thistle supported i realized what an amazing gift God had left us in this purple weed. I mean, these things nourished everyone; the butterflies, the honey bees, the beetles, the dragon flies, and the hummingbirds all visited them in turn. I picked an area and designated it “thistle field”. I refused to mow the grass there and let the area become overrun with thistles. It supported an abundance of life. There were bees, butterflies, and birds all the time. When i hung the bougainvillea on the porch the hummingbirds began to come around more often. They would hover above each flower right outside the kitchen window. I had a magnificent view of them while cooking. My neighbors up the road kept bees in little boxes on their property. There were 2 hives. I liked to think that my dogs and i were helping my neighbors’ bees make flavorful honey by growing flowering plants for them to pollinate. I delighted in the little vibrant buttons of color poking their heads above the grass in the field. In the city, the changing of the seasons was marked by boxes on a calendar. In the hill country one only needed to open their eyes.

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