News Ticker

The Monarchs are disappearing…

A sad environmental story this morning in the national news. Man may well turn out to be the undoing of the majestic Monarch Butterfly.

According to the Associated Press, the migration of Monarchs to Mexico is at its lowest point since 1993, prompting some “… leading experts to announce Wednesday that the insects’ annual migration from the United States and Canada is in danger of disappearing.” (Google “Associated Press”, “Monarch Butterflies”, “migration.”)

Monarchs may look like a mass of beauty here, but their numbers are dwindling fast.

Monarchs may look like a mass of beauty here, but their numbers are dwindling fast.

This year, the butterflies covered  just over 1.5 acres of land vs. the zenith of Monarch colony coverage in 1995: more than 44 acres of beautiful black and orange winged creatures.

It seems our land use/abuse has deprived the Monarch of it’s primary food source, the lowly milkweed plant. We’ve displaced it with more corn, more plants, more homes, more roads, more houses, et al. When I lived in Iowa and Nebraska, milkweeds were a staple along dusty country roads. I distinctly remember Monarch ‘enclosures’ attached to the plants. I thought it was cool then, and I think it’s cool now.

But this is yet more distressing news of man’s incursion or cruelty or apathy toward other life forms that don’t contribute to our economic bottom line or are simply in the way of our ‘progress.’ The Monarchs are only trying to flit here and there to survive. Today’s news story ought to be a wake up call, although given our response of late to the environment, apparently too few will hear it.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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