Sunday, October 6, 2013

Magnificent Monarchs...Missing



At this time last year, Richard and I witnessed monarch butterflies, hundreds of them, flying above  us over Arabia Mountain.  Many of them landed on the Yellow Daisies and they were just breathtakingly beautiful.  It was indeed magical, having that many butterflies over and around us...


This year, we have not seen one single monarch butterfly.  The reason? It seems that it is a combination of the weather and the use of a certain herbicide that is familiarly known as "Round-Up".  I found an interesting article and you may read it here.

Let us not lose these magnificent monarchs!

 (How are your butterflies in YOUR part of the world? If  it is too cold now, how WERE they in the warmer months?)
 




37 comments:

  1. Kay, would you believe that I didn't see one single monarch this gardening season. Not one! And considering I spend a lot of time outdoors, that's pretty frightening. What a sad world this would without these beautiful creatures. Yes, let us not lose magnificent monarchs!

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    1. That does concern me, I know how much time you spend in your garden!
      Let's have hope that the monarchs know how to survive the weather and humans and that we will see them next year.

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  2. Isn't that just sad? I didn't see any of them here this summer either. What a shame that we are losing such precious beauties! xo Diana

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    1. Oh dear, that seems to be the main theme about them for this past summer.
      Precious beauties, I agree.

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  3. On my walks and when I was at my parents' allotment, I did see many butterflies; it did not strike me as a lot more or a lot less than in previous years. When I was a child, I especially loved the tiny blue one called Bläuling in German, and then for many years, I did not see that one anymore. Only in about the last 5-10 years or so have I seen this one again, much to my joy.

    The kind of pesticide that is responsible for the lack of monarch butterflies sounds like something that should definitely been forbidden. How can it be harmless to people when it does that kind of thing to our fellow creatures?

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    1. Of course, I agree with you about Round-Up but it can be very difficult to change people's minds. You are accused of being a "Chicken Little" or worse than that, a "tree-hugger"!
      I like the sound of your little blue butterfly!

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  4. I have seen one monarch this year, but then I haven't particularly been looking. The weather does have somewhat to do with where they are numerous in flight in any particular year. One year they swarmed through Carlsbad. Our butterfly was never to great at our last house, just up the road from where we are now. But down here we have some very pretty bright yellow ones.

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    1. If you saw one monarch, that is one more than I have seen this year.
      It stands to reason that we would not have as many butterflies since we had the wettest Spring and Summer than in many years, but the monarchs are flyovers in this area, so I still thought we would see them here.

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  5. This is wonderful. You are so lucky.

    We used to have tons of Monarchs when we were children. They were everywhere and you could see their caterpillars and cocoons hanging from all the crown flower trees. I haven't seen a Monarch in years now. I understand they may be on the other side of the island, but have virtually disappeared from ours. It's sad.

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    1. Wow, I have an image of children being surrounded by monarch butterflies. Let's hope that is something that could make a comeback on your side of the island!

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  6. The weather has damaged a lot of wee beasties around here. Local bee hives strive to produce honey as the bee shave suffered a lot. However little white butterflies abound, more than usual!

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    1. Ah, the bees...another victim of humans. It is thought that two of the biggest plant sellers in this area, Lowe's and Home Depot, COAT their plants in some kind of pesticide (and they are sold as "bee-friendly".)

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  7. Lovely photos! I haven't seen butterflies on my property in a very long time.

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    1. Richard took these photos last year, in the first week of October.
      We had butterflies but not nearly as many as we did last year.

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  8. What gorgeous butterflies! I've seen far fewer here even though we've had a lovely summer. I think that might be the lack of nectar plants in our garden though so I bought a couple and within half an hour, a butterfly was feeding on one of them! x

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    1. Good for you, providing a lovely plant for the butterflies! We should all do our part.

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  9. We had a lot here in the summer through September but now it seems they've gone south.

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    1. Oh good, I am glad that you saw monarch butterflies! I think you are the only one here who said they saw a lot!

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  10. Heartbreaking, isn't it? They were SO plentiful when I was a girl.

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  11. I also wrote a blog post about this recently, on September 5th. I've always let milkweed grow in my yard because of the Monarchs. this year I saw one Monarch. I've read some articles about causes for their demise but never one that linked it so clearly to Roundup and Roundup resistant crops. I was a garden writer for years and was inundated with packets of info from Monsanto about how benign roundup was. But it is not so. The people I talked to at the Iris Society had been thrilled when roundup first came up because grass is a problem in Iris beds. But they told me that within a few years they were getting deformed plants and they stopped using it altogether. Draw your own conclusions. It is heatbreaking.

    I have seen rather more swallowtails this summer, especially the yellow ones......But I'd love to see all the beautiful beings thrive as they once did. Silent Spring was able to help put an end to DDT, but Monsanto is so rich they try to do every profitable anti-life thing they can and they get away with murder, don't they.

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    1. Oh! I just went and read that! I missed that post (Richard was having some medical issues the first week of September!)
      Oh, I didn't know that you were a garden writer! That is very interesting that the iris growers realized that Round-up was the reason for the deformed plants.
      It is supposed to be safe for birds but now, I wonder if that is true too...
      Silent Spring...Rachel Carson is a HERO to me and one that everyone should know and admire.
      There is a group now called "Millions Against Monsanto" and I wonder if you have looked into it.
      Thanks so much for your comment! xx

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  12. Down here on the coast we've had loads of tropicals, sulphurs, swallow tails, gulf fritillaries and long-tailed skippers, but only two monarchs. We are concerned too.

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    1. Oh dear, and I think of the coast of having lots and lots of butterflies!!

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  13. Oh Kay, how glad I am that you wrote this post. It's a subject I feel so strongly about. We started our summer with "Butterfly Week". As part of that, I took Sophie to see the Imax movie, Flight of the Butterflies. We looked all Summer and I was able to find TWO Monarchs. TWO!!!! And I've been so sad about that because it's pretty clear that we humans are doing this to these animals. I sit and watch my neighbors spraying their gallons of Roundup all over their beds and driveways. It's a known endocrine disruptor, meaning it messes with the reproductive systems of animals. Believe me, it's not only the Monarchs who are suffering. It's the honey bees too. If people just put in a little effort and weeded by hand, it would make ALL THE DIFFERENCE! After seeing the IMAX film, we planted some Milkweed and I'm really hoping in my heart that our yard can be a little oasis. Completely Roundup free, of course! (Monsanto is such a monster!)

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    1. Oh! I wrote about "Flight of the Butterflies" on one of my posts last year, but I never got to see it.
      Only two monarchs? I know, I am like you, very sad.
      Please read the comment from Kristi above and my reply to her...
      Roundup is supposed to be okay for birds too...that is what "they" say!

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    2. I did read Kristi's comment yesterday and ended up visiting her blog. Ha! She wrote me back and said her daughter named her two kids Sophia & Clara. Isn't that great?

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    3. And thank you for sharing the Millions Against Monsanto group ~ I just bookmarked their site. I think I'll be spending some time there in my near future!!!

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    4. Happy for two reasons: that you have found another great lady who blogs (like yourself) and the Millions Against Monsanto!
      It tickles me that Kristi's grandaughters have the same names as your daughters. Little things like that amuse me no end! xx

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  14. We're in an area where we rarely see anything but the buck moths. It is sad that the butterflies are disappearing, and it's one reason i don't like these products.

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    1. Hopefully, more will be done to save butterflies. xx

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  15. They are truly beautiful and its a real shame that they are being killed off. They are quite prevalent here in New Zealand.

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    1. I think I might move to New Zealand! ;-)

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  16. The Monarchs travel such phenomenal distances and the winds play such an important part in their travel that there are bound to be great variations in their flightpaths. We've had lots of butterflies in the Hebrides this summer but if the Monarchs don't appear in their usual numbers in NZ during their Southern Hemisphere Summer I shall be very upset and will doubtless think of this post and the article and let you know.

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    1. It is an incredible story, the flight of the Monarchs. Did you see my post about them last year?
      Please let me know about your Monarchs. Paul from New Zealand might just be working for the New Zealand Tourist Board and is trying to make me visit! (Just kidding, Paul!)

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  17. A very beautiful butterfly! Also the yellow lowers. We do not have that type here. Soon it will be to cold for butterflies here, but I have a lot of them in my garden in Summertime.

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  18. Oh! Thanks so much for your comment! Your photos on your last post taken in Sardenia were just exquisite!
    These Yellow Flowers are so special, they only grow within a 30 mile radius of these monadnocks that I love, only here and nowhere else!
    I know that you would notice and appreciate the butterflies!

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