Monday, May 6, 2013

Milkweed

As we wait for green and growing plants, we enjoy the remnants and ghosts of plants from last fall.  Tall sculptural dry grasses, berry branches, and architectural seed heads.  My favorite of these is the milkweed plant, with it's open seed pods.....the seeds long ago sown.  I appreciate the texture and play of cool and warm color.  I included the milkweed in one of my recent still life paintings:

Milkweed is the favorite plant of the monarch caterpillar.  When my sons were in elementary school, one of the science projects was based on the life cycle of  the monarch butterfly.  Each student was given a caterpillar and was responsible for feeding it until the caterpillar formed it's cocoon.  So everyone needed fresh milkweed leaves.  Living in a suburban neighborhood, not everyone was familiar with the plant.  I was!  And I knew where to find them.  So with my sons, we gathered fat juicey leaves and supplied their entire classes.  Needless to say....we were rockstars!......the caterpillars ate, survived and formed cocoons...and emerged as gorgeous butterflies!!