I have a confession to make. A rather embarrassing oversight on my part.
I had thought all the milkweed was gone.
Whenever I went out to the pasture, I searched and searched with no luck.
Turns out, I didn’t really know what I was looking for.
It wasn’t until Joe, my sweet 6-year-old boy pointed it out that I realized I’d missed it.
“Here’s the milkweed!” he shouted.
I gazed at it and felt an overwhelming sense of…embarrassment. Or maybe shame is a better word.
You see, I had seen this plant before.
In the vineyard.
In the fedge, and all over the pasture and swales.
In short, I’d seen it everywhere.
I just didn’t recognize it for what it was.
I’d been searching for the tall plant with the big pods, not these little guys. I didn’t stop to think what these might be…I just pulled them.
Sure, I left them alone when they weren’t in the middle of a path or smack in the center of the yard. The leaves are smooth and kind of pretty and I thought they looked nice mixed in with all the other greenery.
But I ruthlessly pulled all the others.
I felt really bad that I’d not recognized this plant for what it was. So I did a few Google searches to see what the life cycle of the milkweed is.
I learned that the life cycle from seed to flower is actually about 3 years. And guess what? The young plants don’t look a whole lot like milkweed. In fact, the very first “common mistake” listed is…
I felt a little bit better after that.
Until I remembered that my 6-year-old recognized the plant for what it was.
Boy was my face red!