December 1st, 2013
I don’t know how many of you are aware of the plight of the Monarch Butterfly. There are many that believe these beautiful creatures that so many of us love and feature in our artwork are headed for extinction. The milkweed plants that they depend upon as the repository of their eggs and the food source for the hatching larva and growing caterpillars is dwindling to levels that are insufficient to sustain their population for a variety of reasons.
Earlier this year I visited the Monarch Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California, which at the time had about 10,00 butterflies wintering in the sanctuary. I was told by one of the docents there that this number was significantly down from years past and that the Monarchs could become extinct in as little as five years! I now believe that timeline may be much shorter.
When I discussed with the docent what could be done to help save the Monarchs he said, plant milkweed, and then get your friends and family to plant milkweed, and then get them to get everyone they know to plant milkweed, and so on. FYI, you do have to know the right kind to plant, but you can get that information online for your area of the country. The idea is to have a milkweed plant in every garden free of pesticides!
Just today (December 1, 2013) I saw some very disturbing reports online about the significant drop in the number of Monarchs that winter in Mexico. Recent reports indicate that their numbers have dropped from about 60 million last year to only 3million this year.
It’s past time for us to do something before these lovely creatures are only a distant memory.
How about giving the gift of life to the butterflies this holiday season. I want to encourage anyone and everyone who would like to see these beautiful butterflies survive to consider giving friends and family a gift of some milkweed seeds for the holidays. There are a number of websites that sell/give away the milkweed seeds to be planted in your garden. They also have lots of other information on the subject of helping to save the Monarchs. The one website that I’ve personally done business with is Live Monarch at www.livemonarch.com/free-milkweed-seeds.htm. They will send you a small number of the seeds for free if you send a self-addressed stamped envelope – or if you can afford it, they ask for a small donation of $3 to defray their costs (in which case you can request a larger number of seeds). Another site that I’ve come across that seems very informative and is working hard to save the Monarchs as well is Monarch Watch at http://www.monarchwatch.org/
I would be honored if you would consider giving the gift of one of my Monarch images as well. If you see any images that would work for you, please consider buying a card through the website to send along with your milkweed seeds. After all, what better way to say “Help Save the Monarch Butterflies” than giving the seeds inside a greeting card that features one or more of these beautiful creatures. Whether you buy any artwork from me or not, please, Please, PLEASE consider the idea of giving friends and family some milkweed seeds and then plant them and get them growing right away so the Monarchs have the plants they need to survive!