A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens advocates for children, childhood literacy and Monarch butterflies.

Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens advocates for children, childhood literacy and Monarch butterflies.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter referred to Monarch butterflies as ambassadors to The Americas.

What will today’s leaders do?

On Wednesday, February 19th, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are meeting in Toluca, Mexico to discuss such matters as economic competitiveness, trade investment, entrepreneurship and security. A letter to these three leaders has been signed by more than 150 intellectuals, including Nobel literature laureate Orham Pamus, U.S. environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. and Canadian author Margaret Atwood, noting that the Monarch population has dropped to the lowest levels since 1993 when recording monarch data began. They are urging the three leaders to devote part of their meeting to discussing ways to protect the Monarch butterfly. (Modesto Bee 02-13-2014)

In my own efforts to advocate for these amazing and near threatened creatures, I penned the poem, A Monarch’s Dream, based on my children’s picture book: AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale.

Find out how you can help protect our Monarch Butterflies at http://makewayformonarchs.org/i/#


The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871, where it is called the wanderer.[3][4][5] It is resident in the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira, and is found as an occasional migrant in Western Europe and a rare migrant in the United Kingdom.[6] Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm (3½–4 in).[7] (The viceroy butterfly is similar in color and pattern, but is markedly smaller, and has an extra black stripe across the hind wing.) Female monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the androconium in the center of each hind wing.[8] Males are also slightly larger than female monarchs. The Queen is a close relative.

The monarch is famous for its southward late summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico and coastal California, and northward return in spring, which occurs over the lifespans of three to four generations of the butterfly. The migration route was fully determined by Canadian entomologists Fred and Norah Urquhart after a 38-year search, aided by naturalists Kenneth C. Brugger and Catalina Trail who solved the final piece of the puzzle by identifying the butterflies’ overwintering sites in Mexico. The discovery has been called the “entomological discovery of the 20th century”.[9] An IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies, tells the story of the long search by the Urquharts, Brugger and Trail to unlock the secret of the butterflies’ migration.[10] There is evidence that eastern North American populations of the monarch butterfly migrate to south Florida and Cuba.[11]


Comments on: "Intellectuals Urge Leaders from ‘The Americas’ to Protect the Monarch Butterfly" (8)

  1. Excellent blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would youu advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
    option? There are soo many options out there tyat I’m completely confused ..

    Any ideas? Thank you!


    • Hi, Patti. I suggest starting with a FREE WordPress Blog. That’s what I did my first year. Then I upgraded and got my own domain for a reasonable yearly price. I know just what you mean about feeling a little lost; been there and am still learning. As for writing tips, head to the search bar at the right hand side of my blog LOOKING FOR A POST? and you’ll find writing tips included there. Hope this is helpful. Keep me posted on your progress as I would love to hear from you. HAPPY WRITING & BLOGGING! 🙂 Bette


  2. So important Bette! Thanks for posting~


  3. This area around here is relatively pesticide and chemical free by preference. The farmers here just don’t like it and don’t use it. But we aren’t in the flyway for monarchs. They are coastal and don’t come this far inland. I remember them from when I used to said off the coast of Long Island and the monarchs would cover the sail of my little boat. I hope we can save them. I hope we can save at least some of the beautiful things of this earth.


    • Same here, Marilyn. It’s great to know that farmers in your neck of the woods are concerned about chemical and GMOs. They’ve been killing our pollinators for long enough. Now, if we can only convince our leaders to act in favor of concerned citizens, rather than cater to the interest of agri-business, we can all live healthier, happier lives. 🙂 Bette p.s. Got your books off in the mail today. 🙂


  4. Bette: Thanks for bringing the plight of the monarch butterfly to our attention. Love the great links for more information! Jennie


    • Hi, Jennie. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. The monarchs are near and dear to my heart. I hope the Leaders get the word and spread it too! Have a great week, Bette


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