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Close up Courtesy of gene hanson
Allan and I were commenting on his WDEL blog, that Monarchs were in very short supply this year. I had seen none. Neither has he.
It brought to mind that great losses were expected this year because a census in the mountains of Central Mexico recorded millions were missing from their winter home. Since colonies like to fly together and land together, I was hoping our Monarchs were not privy to that catastrophe.
I am now worried I was right. Monarchs have always played an important part of rural people’s psyche. Seeing a Monarch, since it is so recognizable, gives one an uplift to the spirit, invariably followed by an excited voice saying, “look it’s a Monarch!”… Former President Jimmy Carter, a farmer by trade, commented on this special feeling one gets, by saying the Monarch united three nations in peace. How true.
Monarchs are personal to me. I was fortunate to have lived on two different flyways, in two different states, and well remember lining up carseats of children on the back porch to watch the parade of Monarchs steadily bob their way south. As elementary children, our very kind and thoughtful principal would break all classes to let us out onto the playground to stand in awe and silence, and watch hundreds of the King of Insects go bobbing by. They never wavered side to side; they never stopped; just kept flying one right after another.
Why are they missing? Well that is up to speculation. For you see, they being Monarchs, are mysterious, secretive. We just simply don’t know? Speculation ranges from loss of milkweed due to new development; insecticides on farm land. As a side example it was just found this year, that a new fungicide has wiped out millions and millions of honeybees. But Monarchs were so secretive, it took almost all the formative years of Allan’s lifetime before we even discovered where the Eastern Monarch rested during winter. Once discovered, it was breaking news on NBC. We now know a migration takes multiple generations coming north, and one super-generation going south, and it is through genetic code, that they pass the knowledge of exactly which field where home is. Amazing.
Anytime one hears something like this one assumes the worse, such as when one gets a message while at work that one’s spouse was ambulanced to the emergency room. “Will I see them again” is the first thought one wonders! So it is with this revelation, and probably the reaction is premature but being human nature, I will certainly wonder until confirmation comes in otherwise, if the Eastern species died out, at least the local tribe, and whether or not we will see these mysterious creatures ever again!
We are very fortunate to have Allan Loudell as our state’s prime newscaster, because of his interest in this topic, tomorrow at 12:18 (or closely approximate) he will be interviewing the prime expert in the world on Monarch butterfly migration.Dr. Lincoln Brower at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
If you have ever said… “oh there’s a monarch” and felt a little tingle of excitement flow through your veins at the sight of it, I encourage you to set your radio to the AM side of the radio dial tomorrow at lunch, on there at at the 1150 mark, especially around 12:18. This is a lifetime, golden opportunity. Not just for enthusiasts, but they are welcome to listen too.
Perhaps we can learn there is something we can do to help… like plant milkweed. In any regard, what may be now happening is a real tragedy, one worse than the extinction of the passenger pigeon. If it is determined that it is human activity that winds up killing off this most brave of insects, a bug who quite possibly travels in its short life, further than 85% of Delawareans ever get away from home, it will be a huge blemish against our human species.
And if you happen to see a Monarch, you can report your sightings here. You can be part of something big.
Why would they not cover the results of the primary as it was happening?
Hmmmm, what on earth could be going on at Fox News?
it’s like one’s house is infested with stinkbugs… Everywhere you turn, you find them… They’re in your food, in you bathtub, sunning themselves on your toilet seat. You have to brush out your bed sheets before climbing in them… Their refuse is everywhere… You are always cleaning up their messes, washing dishes just before eating, washing clothes just before wearing, bleach off the table just before sitting down to it.
They contaminate everything they touch. You’ve squished a few, but the stench soon made you give that policy up.. You know you could spray them, and they’d die, but you are concerned over whether the chemicals will kill you too. if not immediately then somewhere down the road… And too, you have this innate sense that all nature’s creatures are equal. All have a right to live and proper as they will. Who died and made you god, you say?
You tried placating them. You put food in a location next to where they enter, hoping they get what they need and go back.. Instead, they came pouring in for more. You made peace by giving them certain areas to live, out of your way, so you could live yours.. But no, it wasn’t enough… Since you let them in there, they assumed you’d let them in anywhere….
You just can’t believe their audacity. After all, you caved in and gave them everything they wanted.. You actually held back in a very humane way, and didn’t use poison to kill them off, you didn’t climate their colonies, wiping out their progeny and their possessions….
You actually were the perfect gentleman to them, and they didn’t appreciate it one iota. What’s the world coming to these days?
So, you give it up, sell your house for a loss, and move out.
….Saw and lost on a Twitter Feed….
“At least Qaddafi can say he outlasted the plastic Burger King by one weekend….“
(The Burger King (reign 56 years)was retired Friday, making Qaddafi (reign 42 years) the longest-termed monarch these past two days: Saturday and Sunday.)