I arrived at Hurst Flower Meadow for the first time since autumn of 2020, and was amazed to find the most dense and verdant patch of milkweed of any waystation planted so far. In spite of battling cancer (and winning) over the past year, Catherine the owner of this private garden has managed to nurture these humble plantings from 2020 into a patch of dozens of flowering plants, the tallest of which is easily over 5' tall! This was a big highlights of my journey-- seeing these plants mature and become a thriving habitat for pollinators under the skillful care of master gardner Catherine.
These last plantings in the Flathead Valley, left to grow over the past three years, really bring into focus the scope of the Monarch Waystation Soundmap project in terms of time: these plants often take 2-3 years or more to mature and flower. That is a lot of time for the land, the people, and our music to change-- hopefully we will be growing and flowering too. One more stop at Max's market in Bigfork, and this summer chapter of the project will finally be over!
2023 (look closely and note the blue butterfly decoration-- it hasn't moved since the 2020 photo was taken!)