Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Help Save The Monarch Butterflies

If I ask you to visualize a butterfly in your mind then chances are that if you live in North America you will visualize a monarch butterfly. Unfortunately, these black and orange beauties are under threat. Since the early 1990s monarch butterfly populations have dropped by 90%, due mostly to human use of herbicide and destruction of milkweed habitat. Monarch caterpillars dine exclusively on milkweed and so if milkweed declines, so do they. The good news is that it is relatively easy to help save the Monarch butterflies. All we need to do is plant more milkweed. Below are two sites where one can receive either milkweed seeds or plants for planting. If you have open spaces that are capable of growing milkweed please consider donating to help save these beautiful creatures.

As you may know, each year monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles into Mexico to escape the cold of winter months. In my state, the influx of monarchs in September and October, is a sign that Autumn is quickly approaching. I remember back in the 80s and 90s going outside and seeing dozens, if not hundreds, flitting to and fro. I also have many a memory of finding a fat monarch caterpillar. However, I haven't seen a monarch caterpillar since the 80s and haven't seen any monarchs for about 4 or 5 years now, which is quite sad. So let's fix this, folks!

For those who would like to grow milkweed for both the monarch butterflies and for magical and medicinal use, milkweed is used to prevent a person from entering a place by dripping the milky sap onto the doorstep while calling the person's name and denying them entry. Milkweed floss (the cottony part found in the seed pod) can be used to stuff pillows and doll babies. However, milkweed's main use would be in folk medicine where it was/is used for a variety of conditions ranging from the removal of warts to the treatment of dysentery, typhus, asthma and even skin cancers. Be advised that milkweed is toxic and should not be ingested. Skin allergies may result from exposure to the sap.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a beautiful big monarch in my backyard yesterday. It's been awhile since I've seen one.