This time of year, birds and insects find a feast in the flowerbed.
Many of them are migrating, and at least at our house,
amid this collection of travelers, monarchs rule.
We usually see them fleetingly,
but one year, they came in mass,
a dazzling dance troupe falling from the sky, floating among the flowers.
The flowerbed has been busy enough without them,
with flies and wasps feeding on allium...
hummingbird moths imitating their namesakes...
and hummingbirds tanking up for their journey south.
Yesterday, the first 2 monarchs of the season showed up,
floating together, catching the sun
and fanning its flames with their wings.
One of them stayed close, settling in for the day,
drinking from the salvia,
starting with the bottom blossom of a stem
and working its way to the top
until it was satiated with the sweet nectar.
We hope there will be more of them.
Until then, we'll keep watching for this transient beauty,
grateful to the One who sent them our way,
to lay eggs on the milkweed,
which hatch into caterpillars,
then wrap in cocoons,
and emerge as more butterflies.
In the castles of kings and queens,
and in the gardens of the Ozarks,