We watched the second Monarch Butterfly emerge today in the miracle that this transformation is.
The flowers of the Swan Plant. Most are no longer in good shape after the ravenous caterpillars have stripped the leaves and stalks near them. I doubt we will see the “swans” that form after the flowers, providing seeds for next season. I hope we will see some Monarch Butterflies emerge after the feasting.
Our long warm summer has seen dozens of Monarch butterflies in and around the garden. But it was only yesterday at Willowbank Park in Tawa (15 mins from my suburb) that I finally managed to get a photo of one. This one was resting on a native Hebe alongside the path into the park area.
They really are majestic butterflies.
The Pohutukawa is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree because it flowers around Christmas time and it has bright red flowers against green foliage.
There are various comments made about the flowering period. It is said that if the Pohutukawa flower early then it means a long, hot summer.
This year the Pohutukawa in my area are flowering abundantly right now. Everywhere I look there are trees bursting with red flowers, while some have a pink toning and yet others flower with yellow flowers. It is the brilliant red ones that are so striking.
Pohutukawa trees grow particularly well in New Zealand, especially near beaches but also in urban gardens, parks and road sides. Our native birds love the nectar in the flowers, the honey bees adore them and I learnt last night that Monarch butterflies feast on these flowers. Nature meets many needs at the same time putting on a magnificent display for us to enjoy.
On Saturday I took some photos of Pohutukawa. I hope you enjoy them.