Milkweed Meditation

10. Monarch Cindy Dyerby Anne Taylor

Standing together, stems hardened by the summer's sunbathing.
The Milkweed Cluster Support Group comes to order
As the members, all seeds released a year ago,
Begin their fall meditation:

        Reflecting on the cycle of their lives
        Feather-borne seeds riding on the whims of the wind
        The breath of Nature bearing the myriad of snow-seeds thither and yon
        Some to an end and others to a beginning.

        Those chosen seeds,
        After surviving taunts of “nuisance plant” and “advantage weed”
        Settling safely into untended ground.

        Spring thaw and rain wake the seed
        To process the fallow earth
        And begin its upright striving for the sun.

        The maligned wild flower
        Produces the sweetest smelling flower of June
        Attracting bees and butterflies
        To rest on its milk-nourished blossoms.

        This milk-blood circulates with the message
        To turn blossoms into pods
        Tough incubators of fluff and seed
        These pods allow for the warming
        And maturity of the plant progeny.

        The new generation burst forth on a warm October day
        To fly with the Monarch Butterflies who cocooned in their shadow
        And begin the cycle anew.

Photo: Monarch Butterfly on Common Milkweed copyright Cindy Dyer
        

        Winter Mantras:  harvest celebration – beginnings and endings – myriads         of deeds/seeds with fruition unknown – integrity of purpose – cooperation       with nature – stamina – longevity – life circle
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Monsanto’s Roundup Ravaging Butterfly Populations, Study Shows | Truthout

Monsanto’s Roundup Ravaging Butterfly Populations, Study Shows | Truthout.

Roundup kills milkweed, the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. Citizen scientists have known for a few years now that the decline of milkweed is due to pesticide use which has depleted monarch populations in the Midwest where most of GMO corn and soy crop is planted now. What was once a diverse pollinator corridor has been reduced to remnant tallgrass prairie. Prairie has gone down by 90 percent in the USA.

Happy Tonics created a restored native tallgrass prairie, as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat, in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. We must do more. Gardeners need to plant milkweed to enable the monarch butterfly to rebound.

Stop illegal deforestation at Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries

   
Published by Mary Ellen Ryall on Dec 10, 2010
Category: Environment
Region: United States of America
Target: United States of America, Canada and Mexico
Web site: http://www.happytonics.org
 
I thought this pupa was a jewel when I first saw it in the garden

I thought this pupa was a jewel when I first saw it in the garden

Background (Preamble):

The only host plant of the monarch butterfly (milkweed) is often a noxious weed in Canada. In the USA there is a loss of biodiverse agriculture and agricultural lands to urban sprawl and use of pesticides and herbicides.

In Mexico there is illegal logging of Oyamel fir trees within the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. In 2010 according to Monarch Watch over 50 percent of the monarchs died due to mudslides, freezing rains and floods within and around the sanctuaries.

 
Petition:
We the undersigned promise not to use pesticides or herbicides in gardening. We agree not to plant monoculture crops.

We promise to plant a variety of native crops and plants for pollinators and insect control. We promise to plant milkweed for the monarch butterfly to establish the next generation of butterflies.

 
To sign the petition go to http://www.gopetition.com/petition/41338.html

September the Long Goodbye

A prairie of Tall Bluestem Native Grass

A prairie of Tall Bluestem Native Grass.

Sunday, September 26, I stopped at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat to pick tall bluestem seed for a seed saving project. We want to offer online prairie friends the opportunity to buy a little of our native grass seed. We don’t sell seed by the pound or even by the ounce for that matter. When we ship common milkweed seed, the package contains 20-30 seeds. Tomorrow I will mail milkweed seed to Florida and Virginia. People are not greedy. They just want to help the butterfly by planting the host plant for the monarch.

As I strolled leisurely through the habitat, I saw at least a dozen yellow sulphur butterflies flitting about gathering nectar from periwinkle showy asters and yellow blooming birds foot trefoil. Among the stiff and showy goldenrod, I saw many species of native bees sipping nectar.

Summer may be over but the habitat is still alive with the activity of smaller species such as the insects which I saw in the warm sun enjoying the last days of blooming wildflowers. Soon a colder freeze will come and all life will go dormant to wait out the long cold winter.

Native bumblebees

Native bumblebees

I am enjoying these last few days of documenting and photographing the littlest of species that make our natural world complete.

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