Last year I had 1 milkweed plant grow in my garden. It is a really cool plant, very not “weedy”. This year, I have 9. They grow tall, with smooth leaves that stick out horizontally. Very graceful. The flowers are exciting and the seed pods are super cool. The plants are visited by lots of different bugs, but this morning I noticed something under one of the leaves. I found a cicada shell on one of the stalks a few weeks ago. Upon closer inspection it was a monarch caterpillar!!!!!!! The whole reason for leaving my friends the milkweed in my yard. YEA!!! I have a butterfly bush next to the milkweed. He is still out there hanging out (I just checked). I am so happy! My garden gets so many fun guests, but I am more than thrilled about this one. I hope the Monarch can survive the human race. I won’t go all melancholy here, but I do hope we can quell the extinction of so much flora and fauna. Anyway, below are: Milkweed flowers (a good example of the different stages), milkweed pods, my front yard (yes, it needs some TLC, but it has been too hot for me, and I refuse to hire weed people this year), 😉 and finally the cicada shell. I am still trying to photograph a live cicada, but they take off before I get a shot off.