I have enjoyed looking down from my second floor office at a patch of milkweeds that grow between an office building and adjacent factory. Last year, the milkweeds blossomed and monarchs arrived and laid eggs on the leaves and even a chrysalis was formed that hung from one plant. I missed the hatching and even missed seeing the shattered chrysalis hanging empty and tattered. It must have fallen off. Last September, twice I witnessed the dance of the Monarchs in mating flights. It's brutal. The female doesn't want to be pinned to the ground for an act of copulation.
Today, I saw a lawn crew man standing in this courtyard. He stood with his fists dug into his sides. I knew that the milkweed had very little time before a weed wacker and a spray jug of roundup showed up. So I walked around the plant looking for the foreman. I found him after mowing the lawn behind the plant. He pulled off his earphones and came to talk with me at a security fence.
He confirmed he had been ordered to clean up the courtyard. He offered to hold up while I emailed the plant manager and the maintenance manager. I wrote a good appeal, telling about the Monarchs that floated into the courtyard. I told about the chrysalis. I even agreed that the Tree of Heaven, called the Ghetto Palm in Detroit, had to be cut back before roots damaged the foundation. Then I hit send.
Later in the day, the human resource director of the plant emailed me. Her note said the milkweeds and other plants wouldn't be touched. Then a fall cleanup will be scheduled. I'll probably write in October for a clean up early winter.