Physically, the Texas Butterfly Ranch encompasses the geographic area around Austin, San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country—the famous “Texas Funnel” through which all monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains pass during their spectacular fall migration. It includes an amazing pollinator garden in downtown San Antonio, a place where I cultivate native plants and nonnative edibles, collect the eggs and caterpillars of monarchs and other butterflies, gather herbs for tinctures and other “experiments,” and pot plants in my Mariposario, a stacked rock gardening shed. It also encompasses a wildlife-riddled stretch of the Llano River in the Texas Hill Country.
Virtually, I like to say the Texas Butterfly Ranch is a lens through which to view complex issues—migration, immigration, climate change and sustainability.
In 2000 when our family acquired our ranch on the Llano River, it took five years for me to realize that native milkweeds populated the riverbanks. Later, when I realized the pecan trees on the bank opposite our house served as roosts to thousands of monarch butterflies each Fall, that was it. I was hooked. What’s most striking in hindsight: they had always been there, I just hadn’t noticed.
Now, I do.
Through online evangelism and outdoor initiatives, the Texas Butterfly Ranch hopes to engage readers in noticing, too. And to appreciate our native interconnectedness.
Thanks for stopping by. See you outside.