A writer inspired by nature and human nature


 

STATUS UPDATE: As of Juy 25, 2022—Monarch butterflies are on the Endangered Threatened Species “Red List.”

Their status was announced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature last week, but we still await a status change from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Some of the largest contributing factors include significant loss of milkweed habitat and growth, as well as an increased use of herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. Now for the good news.

As said by John F. Kennedy, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

 

The Great Monarch Migration

Each year from August through October, masses of monarch butterflies embark on a journey from the southern reaches of Canada that takes them 2500 Miles to remote mountain treetops in central Mexico. Millions of overwintering monarchs were discovered roosting there for the first time in 1975. Here at the farmstead in central Maine, monarch butterflies visit us from early June through mid to late September. As a citizen scientist, I report my sightings to Journey North . I invite you to visit their website to find out more about our amazing monarch butterflies and find out how you can help.

Hubby Dan and I have sighted sixty (60) monarchs so far this season. The monarch chrysalis in my photo collage was spun by a caterpillar Dan discovered on a day lily leaf when he was cleaning the garden on August 13, 2019. We transferred the caterpillar and part of the leaf to our back porch. By the time I put fresh batteries in the camera and returned, this chrysalis had already been spun. On August 31, a beautiful monarch butterfly had emerged and was resting on her chrysalis (yes, it was a girl, our 2019 Matilda) about noontime. We sat and watched for hours as she dried her wings. I moved her to a nearby phlox plant where she could rest and sip nectar as she prepared for her long journey  south. One of her friends (most likely a monarch sibling) stopped by to check on her several times. By 4:45 p.m., she was flitting and fluttering through the garden before she began soaring and landed on the birch wood pile before soaring away on her long journey south.

Note: The top left monarch was one of our earlier arrivals that stopped to lay eggs on our milkweed. The others are all of our amazing Matilda who is on her way to Mexico!

Leaders from U.S., Mexico & Canada have agreed to help protect this threatened species through the NAFTA trade agreement. Groups and individual citizens continue to band together to support and protect monarch butterflies. Together we can make a difference!

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  • Plant native milkweed
  • Provide nectar plants
  • Avoid pesticides
  • Report your monarch sighting observations to JourneyNorth.org
  • FIND OUT MORE at  WaterwayAdvocates.org

Bette A. Stevens is the author/illustrator of award-winning picture book Amazing Mailda, A Monarch’s Tale.

Here’s what two readers have to say:

“A beautiful message of love, patience, perseverance, and belief. The story is told with a frog, bird, rabbit, and the butterfly as the main characters. A perfect book for children mainly to teach them about the cycles of life and the importance of patience, perseverance, and keeping faith in a dream.” ~Karen Ingalls

“I can’t wait to give this to my grandchildren and will enjoy our reading time together with this delightful tale!” ~ D.L. Finn

 

Amazing Matilda (2019) on her way to Mexico! 

 

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Comments on: "Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Endangered Threatened Species!" (70)

  1. I was at a beach in Florida last year and saw lots of Monarchs on their way south. Such a beautiful sight! I remember when I was a child it was a common to see them in my yard in Kentucky. But sadly now it is all too rare to see any kind of butterfly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Kimberly! Thanks so much for stopping by to support our amazing monarch butterflies. It’s been a lean year here due to drought conditions, but each sighting is like a little miracle! Let’s prray that conditions improve for creatures great and small while we do all we can in our little corner of the globe! 💞 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Endangered Threatened Specie… […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful cause, Bette – you are such an inspiration. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a large Butterfly bush that I almost lost over this past year, but careful pruning has brought it back quite nicely. Thankfully this summer it has been visited by many Monarch butterflies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Endangered Threatened Specie… […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robbie Cheadle said:

    A lovely review, Bette 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d heard that Monarchs are now on the endangered list, Bette. My milkweed didn’t do well this year, so I’ll be trying harder next year and starting the plants in a protected area where they’ll get more attention. I love your photos and descriptions of the Monarchs around your home. And you know I enjoyed your beautiful book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our milkweed, like all of the garden, suffered from drought this year. Dan found a baby monarch caterpillar among the swiss chard leaves he brought in yesterday–I place him out on a nearby milkweed leaf and can only hope for the best… It’s been a stark year for flora and fauna. ❤ Hopefully 2023 will be a banner year for us all! Thanks so much for you support all around. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m working on a pollinator garden for bees and monarchs. I’m just hoping it survives the TX heat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great, Laci! Thanks for all you’re doing to protect our pollinators. It’s been extremely hot and dry here in central Maine this year. The gardens are wilting, but they’ll all come back to life with a little rain… Everything and anything we do to help in our little corner of the world is a plus! ❤ xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We are planning to try to get our community to allow us to plant a monarch garden in a portion of a field the community owns. Not sure the the HOA and the construction company will allow it but we will gather information about what to do and how to get it certified.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bette, where can we get seeds for milkweed, and what are some of the nectar plants grown in the south?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful information about monarchs . So many butterflies ❤️ thanks for sharing 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s such a bad sign that they are on the endangered list. I would have never thought this could happen. Of all the butterflies out there, isn’t it the one everybody knows?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s taken a long time for politicians and government organizations to recognize the importance of saving these beautiful pollinators that indicate the delicate balance of preserving civilizations. ❤ Hopefully the word will continue to go out and citizens, scientists and leaders at all levels will step up and reach out to help save the planet! ❤ Thanks so much for your support! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes I am afraid it might be too late for us to react, the damage we caused hasn’t arrived -yet.

        Hi Bridget,
        NEVER TOO LATE!
        Whatever we do to help is a plus.
        Thanks so much for joining the conversation and for your support, my friend!
        Hugs,
        Bette

        Liked by 1 person

  13. You are doing a wonderful job for saving the Monarch butterflies Bette. 🤗 I love them. Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Really special that you have a sanctuary on your property for the Monarchs. Sounds beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Bette – thanks for sharing this information. I was just talking about the endangered Monarch butterfly with my work friend, so this is timely. I was out for a walk this week and noticed a lot of Monarchs along the way, so that’s a good thing. Interestingly, they were landing on a lavendar bush, not milkweed, but I understand milkweed is what they need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The monarchs sip on a variety of blooms for their energy. Ours seem to love mint blossoms and phlox–likely because we have plenty of those. They lay their eggs on the milkweed since the caterpillars rely primarily on the milkweed leaves. When conditions are right and milkweed blooms are open and fresh, they do love them! Thanks so much for checking up on our amazing monarch pollinators, Barbara! ❤ Wonderful to hear that you're seeing many of them on your walks. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  16. So amazing, Bette. You do such great work in educating about the Monarchs and in trying to save them!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gwen M. Plano said:

    Wonderful post, Bette. I’ve noticed some unique butterflies in the high desert, where I now live, but I don’t believe they are Monarch butterflies. Thank you for alerting us as you do so well. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s awesome, Gwen. Butterflies, like bees, are wonderful pollinators. Thanks so much for your supporting me and our dear Monarch butterflies. It’s been extremely dry here this year–our milkweed and monarchs are scarcer due to the drought. But, we discovered a baby Monarch caterpillar in the garden yesterday and moved it to a milkweed plant. 🐛🦋 Have a great day, my friend! xo

      Like

  18. Thank you for sharing!!… use to see hundreds of butterfies but believe that climate has also made a impact and they may have moved their migration route… change has happened to many species here, not all for the good… but we are trying to help…. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    • This year of heat drought has not been kind to plants or wildlife here at the Farmstead. I’ve only sighted six monarchs since June; but, we did find a baby Monarch caterpillar in the garden yesterday… Yay! 🐛🦋 Thanks so much for your encouraging note of support, Larry. May this and every season bring the best to you and yours as well! xo

      Like

  19. We haven’t seen many butterflies this year and I’m surprised! We have seen an abundance of different varieties of birds, so all is not lost. Thank you for sharing your lovely post about monarchs. 💛🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Drought and higher than usual temps here this year. Monarchs are fewer than usual and milkweed, along with the rest of the gardens is suffering. Found a tiny Monarch caterpillar among the garden greens and “transplanted” it onto a milkweed leaf yesterday. There may be more Monarchs around than I suspect… 🐛🦋 Thanks so much for your continued support, Eugie! ❤ xo

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks for all the information about the monarchs, Bette. It would be sad if this magnificent species disappeared. You’re certainly doing all YOU can; let’s hope you get some help! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. petespringerauthor said:

    Some believe that climate change is also a contributing factor to the decline of monarchs and many other species of butterflies.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. We have almost NO butterflies anymore. We used to have thousands of them and now, I’ve seen ONE all summer. Of course, it has also been very hot and very dry and I think the butterfly plants have died from lack of water. We live in hope. We got about 5 minutes of rain today. Every little bit heps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Similar circumstances up here, Marilyn… 😮 I’ve only spotted 8 monarchs so far and we are desperately in need of rain. Dan discovered a baby Monarch caterpillar when he brought in veggies from the garden yesterday… I put it on a dry and wilted milkweed plant, but it has disappeared. 🐛 Don’t blame the poor little thing. This has been the worst year yet for gardens and butterflies. Prayers for all who need rain and all who need no more rain… It seems that the whole world is in a muddle. We all need all the help we can get! Sending love and hanging on to hope… ❤ xo

      Like

  23. Such a beautiful butterfly and it’s so lovely to read the comments where some are trying so hard to save this beautiful butterfly…Tweeted and will share on my Monday Musings, Norah 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sharing this. My sis and I were just talking about how we didn’t see many butterflies anymore–and she lives in a rural area! Bees either for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been hearing the same from friends and family across the nation and even from abroad. We are experiencing drought conditions here in Maine. Flora and fauna are all suffering. I’ve spotted less than a dozen Monarchs so far and our gardens look pitiful. Hoping and praying for relief here and around the world. My little sis lives in TX and we chat for an hour or so every Sunday. Things are crazy in Brownsville too… ❤ Sending lots of love your way… xo

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is wonderful, Bette! I would love to raise these beauties. Thanks for sharing!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Wonderful post, Bette! I’m glad you counted 60 monarchs. We must do all we can to save the monarchs.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have another blog friend, Elaine Mansfield, who is “over the moon” about monarchs. In fact she is writing a book about her own experience. My Pilates instructor is nurturing a whole community of monarchs, some of whole began on her front-door wreath. I don’t know how she managed that!

    Here’s to caring for these sweet Lepidopteras! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Monach butterflies are truly so beautiful!! Thank you for the well written, sweet post.

    Liked by 1 person

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