|Hannah Parker and her new pet - April 14!|
Hannah Parker spotted the rather tattered female Monarch butterfly on our Mail Trace Road. It patiently rode her finger for a while until we transferred it to a container. It will be living on a potted milkweed in her house. In spite of its arduous journey, we hope it will lay some eggs.
We reported it to Journey North which tracks the Monarch migration and it was the second one reported this year in Missouri. The first was reported flying overhead in St. Louis. You can see the report here.
From there on the day was a continued success. We saw a lot more finds with the trained eyes of Michelle Bowe and her students (MSU) and Ioana Popescu (Drury). They provided lots of Greek, Latin and botanical pearls while some of us just carried the cameras and listened in awe.
|Pussytoes - female|
|Male flowers of pussytoes|
I had only seen the pure white blossoms but Michelle pointed out to us that they are dioecious, i.e. male or female flowers are on separate plants. This area had the pure white heads which are the female flowers with an adjacent patch of male flowers that have tiny brown anthers. The seeds produced by the female plants have fluffy tufts on them to aid their dispersal by wind.
For those like myself who have forgotten their flower anatomy many times, here is a refresher.
A list of wildflower species found at Bull Mills with Saturday's finds highlighted is here.