Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Monarch Migration Milkweed & Monsanto

It is hard to imagine that the words Monarch, Migration and Milkweed would have anything in common with a multinational chemical and biotech corporation like Monsanto. To see and hear the word Monsanto conjures up images of poisons, lies, manipulation, and now the possible loss of a momentous migration is added to the list of onslaughts to our environment, personal health and sacred connections to nature.  

Monarch Butterfies are just one of the insects that fall prey to Monsanto made pesticides and herbicides. Many other important and treasured pollinators are killed as well.  Consider a diverse community of wildlife living within a stand of milkweed. 

It is sad to visualize a dense wet toxic veil of poison stealing across huge swaths of wildlife habitat growing alongside mono gmo crops and highways. Hundreds of species of milkweed have been killed by the insidious manipulations of Monsanto. For years farmer's allowed native plants to grow along corridors bordering their crop fields, but things have changed. GMO crops need more and more sprayings (where they promised there would be less need) and are threatening one of the wonders of our natural world. Droughts and cold fronts play a role in the demise of the Monarch Butterfly migration too. Monsanto carries most all of the blame for the killing of the essential host plants — milkweed.

Fragile life is wiped out or not ever allowed to begin when their host plant milkweed is absent.

Caterpillars never become instars or butterflies without milkweed.

Milkweed is more than just a host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. The dainty falling florets are important sources of nectar for the monarch and many other creatures. We need to recreate the lost habitat for all the life that depends on milkweed, and for the rights of the plants to live as well.

Hummingbirds are great pollinators too. Milkweed is ever giving.

Let's all plant more milkweed by all means, but also we need to call, write and sign petitions to our representatives in Congress and the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, demanding they stop supporting gmo crops and the outrageous use of poisons poured and sprayed over our food and  landscapes.

Perhaps even more importantly, we could act against giants like Monsanto in how we spend our dollars in our daily lives. By asking questions and following our convictions in what we purchase, we can make changes one dollar at a time. One person at a time eventually adds up to millions of dollars not supporting harmful chemical corporations.

I hope we heed this warning of our beloved Monarch Butterflies, and that the decline that has been happening over the last decade will see a turnaround soon. I am fearful, but will persist in hoping that children and adults alike, along the migration route, continue to enjoy observing both the joyous metamorphosis and the incredible migration of the Monarch Butterflies.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Taking Time to Observe Divided White Light

Taking time to observe gifts of light . . . how they stretch and morph. 

 Divided white light creating full spectrum shooting rainbows. 

While outside is a colder white. Happy School Vacation to many of you heading to warm beaches and family fun. We are up to our necks in snow, writing deadlines and building a new website. Butterflies are fluttering waiting to get out of my external hard drive and on to this page too. Much to do! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

February Sunrise with Avian Surprise

February sunrises paint the sky in layers of lovely soft lavenders and mauves. Our steady wobbling and tilting towards the sun gives us a few more minutes of light each day. We are happy for it. 

The Mount Holyoke range reclines beneath purple pastel washes, shadows and fuzzy lines.

A delightful surprise perching within one of our strong oaks. A pair of Red-tailed Hawks. I see these stately raptors, sometimes daily, resting high in the upper limbs but never before two at a time. Looking out the barn studio windows at just the right moment often brings such joyous sightings.

The five year mark just flew by for my Flower Hill Farm blog, and as it turns five years old there are changes going on behind the scenes. Our new website will hopefully be launched soon. Working with my builder is a lot of work and a great distraction, which is why there are not as many postings here of late. It is exciting too, and I look forward to sharing it soon. 

Meanwhile, best wishes for an inspiring February. 

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