“Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the people of the earth.” Chief Seattle
If Everyone Does a Little It Can Add up to A Lot!
Have you noticed how few butterflies are flittering around this summer? Researchers find that butterfly species throughout the world are disappearing because of pollution, pesticides, and habitat loss. A newly released study says many butterflies are vanishing.
The author suggests we remove some of our lawn, and plant more flowers. Yes, we should plant more flowers, but beside planting more flowers we need to reduce the use of the chemicals we put on our lawns, in our gardens and on our agricultural fields.
Reducing chemicals and planting host plants for butterflies can make a big difference. Many of us are actively working on planting milkweed for monarchs, but there are many other butterfly species. Besides milkweed I have pearly everlasting for the American painted lady, turtlehead for the checkerspot butterfly, and golden Alexander for the black swallow-tail. Violets are great for the fritillary butterflies. This is one of the best charts I have seen on plants for butterflies from Bringing Nature Home And some ideas from the University of Minnesota for plants that are favored for butterflies an moths. Please let me know what your best plants for butterflies are?
This week I had one monarch butterfly checking out butterfly weed in my Minneapolis yard. Last week I spotted one monarch in Northern Wisconsin. It is sad that we get excited counting our famous butterflies in the quantities of one.
Hopefully, a new program by announced by the White House will help get our monarch butterflies back on track. See article: http://www.startribune.com/calling-all-milkweed-federal-pollinator-plan-needs-a-billion-plants-for-monarchs/306383591/
We can all help:
1. Plant milkweed. Most garden stores still do not carry milkweed. Seeds are available, but not the best option. I transplant plants from friends gardens. Ask major garden stores to carry milkweed plants.
2 Please do not use Roundup or neonicotinoids, and always ask if the plants you purchase have been treated with neonicotinoids.
3. Inform yourself on host plants for butterflies http://www.ecosystemgardening.com/host-plants-for-butterflies.html
4. Never pick off fuzz or little spots on plants. These could be eggs
We are one day passed global earth hour sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. Even if you could not participate, I hope you will think of ways to reduce the electricity you use. Working together to cut our use of fossil fuels(Most of our electricity comes from coal) can make a difference!
Like it or not the paradigm is changing. Some news from the week: