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.


Gail said...

It's heartbreaking and maddening, but, we must go on planting and providing for our pollinators. Yes to continued sharing of information and calling upon our government to stop this poison madness.

RobinL said...

It's so important to win this battle! But it does seem that the word is getting out, so I'm holding out hope for the future.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Carol,
We know only too well how ceaseless you are in your campaigns for the protection of the environment and all the many complexities and implications that this has. We always feel humbled by your works and somewhat impotent in our responses to these very real threats on wildlife which seemingly rage on without control.

How we all need you, darling Carol, to bring these issues into our daily consciousness and to raise awareness of what, even in the smallest of ways, we can all do to help. And, through your inspirational photography, you can bring the beauty of the Natural World into our lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this.

MarieSophie said...

Ich finde es auch sehr wichtig, dass wir dieses Thema weiterverbreiten und die Vielfalt unserer Natur erhalten.
Grüße von Marie

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Carol, I agree with the previous comments. It is very sad to me that people are so careless with how they treat our natural resources.

Gardeningbren said...

Our garden club hosted a speaker on Monarchs this week. It was wonderful. She spoke of having no success getting the highways to delay spraying the verges until the butterflies headed back south luck so far. I sure learned a lot but mostly, your photos really showed not just the butterflies and milkweed flowers but what else depends on the same flora for their lives. What a great post Carol. Thank you. Fantastic photos as well.

Eva said...

Your words call to mind the book, Silent Spring. Reading it when I was a young girl, I believed that we had no choice but to heed its warning. Fifty years later, we stand at another crossroads. But we have fallen more deeply asleep, believing in the easy way out. "New and improved" is the motto for corporations' slipping in yet another dangerous ingredient. GMOs are in a category that is beyond frightening. I remember, many years ago, after comprehending the dangers of "round-up ready" crops, I imagined myself going out, vigilante style, posting warnings on products in nurseries in my area. Alas, I never did. I will probably always know that I could have done more. You continue to be a voice-for-good in my world. And your work with the Monarchs is such an individual story—well worth telling!

I recently was introduced to Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm in Maine. He believes, as you do, that pesticides are not necessary so long as the soil is healthy. May your voice and his become stronger and more powerful.

Tammie Lee said...

beautiful and passionate post Carol.
I will find out if milkweed will grow in my area. I also wonder if deer just eat it up. I sure do have deer during the growing season. right now my snow is too deep and they roam where the snow is not so deep this time of year.

boo gmo
boo pesticides
boo monsanto!

golly gee wiz, it is simple thought to not put poison on our food or our planet... how did people go so wrong

sending you a warm smile

Casa Mariposa said...

I have a lot of orange milkweed in my garden, although keeping the swamp milkweed moist enough has been a challenge. It was truly disheartening to see so few monarchs last summer. My garden is organic and all the good bugs take care of the bad guys. Monsanto is the devil, plain and simple. But the hungry consumers who buy all the products made with GMO corn and soy are just as guilty.

Chris said...

Hi Carol, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Susan Krzywicki said...

The California Native Plant Society supports your efforts to call attention to the plight of Monarchs! We blogged about this at

Thank you for your support!

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