Butterfly Corner

Monarch cluster at Mexico habitat, Estela Romero, reporter, Journey North
Monarch cluster at Mexico habitat, Estela Romero, reporter, Journey North

Ryall, M. E. (14 March 2012). Butterfly Corner. Washburn County Register, p. 16

March 8, 2012 – Estela Romero, local reporter, Angangueo, Michoacan, Mexico, went to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary with monarch expert, Doctor Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College, Virginia.  Estela has been watching the monarchs for weeks and thinks they are more active. She saw many butterflies flitting about, instead of hibernating on trees. The scientist and his guide went to Chincua sanctuary. Further up the mountain, last year’s flood and mud slide damage could be seen.

Dr. Brower expressed his concern about how dry the Mexican forest is this year. In winter 2010, Monarch butterfly populations endured a terrible flood in the mountains, where the sanctuary is located. This year, the soil is baked dry and unstable because there are fewer trees to stabilize the mountains. It is so dry, that Dr. Brower is concerned, that the butterflies may not have sufficient moisture, which they use for respiration. Last fall 2011, Texas suffered a terrible drought. The state suffered massive fires. Texas is the gateway to and from Mexico for the butterfly. Lack of liquid and plant nectar in Texas may play a major role on the monarch butterfly migration 2012 .

Dr. Brower is concerned that now the monarchs may not have enough lipids to make the journey north this spring. Yes, many will make it, but what about the majority of the migration? Deforestation continues in Mexico. There are fewer Oyamel fir trees in the Mexican forest. Fewer trees mean fewer winter habitat for the monarch butterfly. Since the time of the dinosaurs, the butterfly has been around. How could a butterfly, which has survived throughout history, be so impacted by our material world and climate change in such a short time? We will follow the migration north to keep you posted.

The Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake has some good news. Volunteer staff discovered that black swallowtail caterpillars and adult butterflies were seen in Shall Lake, in the summer of 2011.  With this news, Happy Tonics plans to include host plants for the butterfly. We want to welcome this species to the habitat.

Book cover copyright Lindy Casey, Salt of the Earth Press
Book cover copyright Lindy Casey, Salt of the Earth Press

March 24 –I did an author interview with Morgen Bailey, Northhampton, United Kingdom. Morgen interviews published authors and publishers. My book, My Name is Butterfly, was published by Salt of the Earth Press in 2011. The in-depth interview is posted at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/blog-interview-no-318-with-writer-mary-ellen-ryall/

I am thrilled to have my book talked about in England and beyond the big waters. Happy Tonics has published butterfly articles in the UK before with Butterfly Observer, Cornwall Butterfly Conservation.

March 29 – The first week of April, I will be in Washington, DC. While there, I will attend Cindy Dyers one woman photography exhibit at Green Springs Garden, in Alexandria, VA. Cindy is Happy Tonics VP of Marketing. Check out her exquisite photography at http://www.gardenmuseshow.com/. I am doing a book tour in DC; Southern Maryland in Calvert and St. Mary’s County; and in Northern Virginia. I have been invited to speak at Meet the Author events. It will be good to see my old stomping grounds again.

Updates:

Morgen Bailey has a few interesting links for aspiring and published authors. Check out http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/morgenbailey

You may want to connect with Morgen at New forum at http://morgenbailey.freeforums.org

Don’t forget to check out Morgen’s Blog at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

Mary Ellen’s Meet the Author event is scheduled at Calvert Pines Senior Center, Prince Frederick, So. MD, 12:30 p.m.

Mary Ellen’s Meet the Author event is scheduled at The Good Earth Natural Food Company, Leonardtown, So. MD, 9:30 a.m. – 12 Noon.

Killer Winter Storm Hits Mexican Towns Near Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

House destroyed by mudslide.
House destroyed by mudslide copyright Sue Sill, LCHPP

  I spoke with Sue Sill, Executive Director, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, (LCHPP) via email yesterday. She is in Mexico now where the damage of floods and mudslides destroyed Angangueo and El Rosario, towns near the Mexican Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.  We do not know the status of the monarch butterflies yet and what the survival rate is.  There is no way in or out at the present time. According to Monarch Watch, we will need to wait and see.

You can make donations directly to:  LCHPP, 404 Victoria Ave., McAllen, TX 78503.  We are also raising funds for LCHPP on Happy Tonics Facebook Blog. 

Read the news at CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/02/09/mexico.floods/index.html

October Hill Foundation in Connecticut donated $5,000 in seed money to initiate the monarch area assistance fund.

Won’t you please help by donating to help LCHPP?  Thank you.

Mudslide in Central Mexico
Road washout with a lonely dog copyright Sue Sill, LCHPP.

What would life be without the Monarch Butterfly?  The monarch is a butterfly of transformation.  Is she teaching us that clear cutting leaves the mountains vulnerable?  No tree roots to hold the soil can bring soil erosion through heavy rains which in turn can bring floods and mudslides.

The monarch needs the Oyamel fir forest to survive in Mexico.  Stop clear cutting to save the Mexican Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary.  Mexico is the home country of the monarch butterfly. Reforestation will begin in the spring with funds raised for LCHPP.