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Archive for the ‘Monarch butterflies’ Category

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Celebrate the Great Monarch Butterfly Migration & Help Protect this Endangered Threatened Species!


 

 

 

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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Write a Summer Limerick & Get the Kids Writing Too!


HAVE FUN WRITING LIMERICKS

Monarch Butterfly LIMERICK 2 bas 2017

Summertime is fun time! And with ‘back to school’ just around the corner, it’s a great time to write limericks and get the kids writing too…

Whether you’re a writer, a reader, a teacher, a parent or simply want to share the love of reading and writing, get the kids together and give “Limericks” a try. You’ll be glad you did!

Some of my favorite things about summer are butterflies, long lazy summer days, gardens and sunshine. I love to sit on the porch with my camera at the ready just in case I spot an amazing monarch or any of our sensational butterfly friends dropping by to enjoy the view. So far this year I’ve spotted twelve monarchs and dozens of other butterflies too—and managed to capture several of these exquisite creatures with my Canon “PowerShot.”

Butterflies are very sensitive to the environment and with their natural habitat areas being increasingly eroded and with significantly greater use of chemicals, our butterfly population is in decline. Planting and cultivating milkweed (Monarch caterpillars need milkweed) and other blooms that our pollinators need for survival is one way that I can help.

Limerick (poetic definition)

[lim-er-ik]
noun
1. a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

My limerick is about one of the monarch butterflies (captured by my camera) that fluttered through my garden so far this summer. I had fun writing two verses to tell my monarch’s story. Check out the link at the end of the post to find out more about poetic limericks.

A Monarch Butterfly Limerick

by Bette A. Stevens

There once was a monarch so fair

She fluttered and flit through the air

’Twas milkweed she needed

And so she proceeded

To search through the garden with care

 

Monarch  knew she had nothing to fear

Her flutters would soon disappear

When milkweed she spotted

Her heart was besotted

Depositing monarch eggs there

 

WRITING POETRY WITH CHILDREN

Tips & Tools

When teaching (grades 4-8), I found that writing poems and sharing them was an exciting way get children of all ages hooked on writing. I must admit it—limericks are so much fun to write and to share! In the classroom we learn about using some of the tools in our writer’s tool box—literary devices like assonance (repeating vowel sounds) and consonance (repeating consonant sounds) to create a musical message. And of course, we had Scholastic rhyming dictionaries and thesauruses close at hand. It’s always exciting to discover alternative words (synonyms) that have just the right sounds and syllables to perfect our poems.

Whether you’re a writer, a reader, a teacher, a parent or simply want to share the love of reading and writing, get the kids together and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

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“COMPASSION” (poem) by Bette A. Stevens


Compassion…

Compassion in life
Is a beautiful thing

Sharing its beauty
Gives others their wings
Stirring love into each
Little thing that we do
Is sure to help their dreams
And our dreams come true

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Compassion in life is a beautiful thing. But exactly what is compassion? I’ve always thought of compassion as “love in action.” After writing the poem Compassion, I searched Google for a definition to share. The synonyms fit perfectly into my preconceived notion for the poem because they not only included love and mercy, each synonym requires action—stirring—on our part to metamorphose the idea of compassion into the realty of compassion.

May compassion reign in our hearts and hands each day.

~ Bette A. Stevens

Google Search:

noun: compassion; plural noun: compassions

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

“the victims should be treated with compassion”

synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity

“have you no compassion for a fellow human being?”

antonyms: indifference, cruelty

Origin Middle English: via Old French from ecclesiastical Latin compassio(n-), from compati ‘suffer with.’

Enjoy more of Bette’s poetry in her new collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons.

Stevens has released a poetry and photography collection inspired by Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people. The author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons takes readers on a poetic journey through the state’s four distinct seasons. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

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AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch Butterfly Tale by Bette A. Stevens (Children’s Picture Book)



“If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!” ~Jacqui Murray

 

AMAZING MATILDA—Read the Reviews

  • Bette Stevens’s Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly.  Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…”Another friend suggests:”I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:”Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!
  • The story is really exciting, appealing, adventurous, lovable, and yet, sufficiently wise and deep for both kids and adults.In case you do not trust my word, I urge you to find out for yourselves. Otherwise, I might be reviewing this wonderful book for hours. It is my pleasure indeed!
  • 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.

Read all 87 reviews on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AU9ZISA/

 

Bette in her garden with one of the monarch butterflies that emerged from its chrysalis at the farmstead in central Maine.

Order your copies of AMAZING MATILDA today:

FREE from Bette

AMAZING MATILDA (Review & Author Interview) 

 

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A Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens


I had only spotted a dozen monarchs here at the farmstead in Central Maine the summer of 2015. Summer of 2018, there were nearly 100 in and around the garden. Two delightful specimens danced around the garden where I encourage milkweed to grow alongside the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we harvest. I grabbed my camera just in time to capture one of our regal visitors pirouette upon the peppermint and inspired me to write this haiku. ~Bette A. Stevens

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more

WHERE?
Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Find all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook—ONLY 99¢ Limited Time (April 20-26)


HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Please share this post…

Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

AMAZING MATILDA written and illustrated by Maine author Bette A. Stevens:

“Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!”

About the book

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 5-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

April 19, 2019 Review Excerpt Blurb:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here! ~Jacqui Murray, WordDreams 

DOWNLOAD a copy of AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens (ONLY 99¢ April 20th–April 26th)—award-winning monarch butterfly picture book— at YOUR AMAZON

Free Reading Resources for Amazing Matilda

Meet the characters and download Bette’s  #FREE Character Puppets at https://4writersandreaders.com/amazing-matilda-finger-puppets-free-download/ 

Beyond the book

  • Find monarch butterfly resources at your finger tips:

Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

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Have an Amazing New Year! (Poem + Monarch Butterfly Resources from author Bette A. Stevens)


Have an Amazing New Year!

 

May your days be blessed and beautiful

May your nights, sweet dreams supply

May your New Year be amazing

As a monarch butterfly

© Bette A. Stevens

Learn about Monarch Butterflies

Bette in her garden with one of the monarch butterflies that emerged from its chrysalis at the farmstead in central Maine.

Monarch butterflies offer an amazing view into the intricate nature of the wild. Their scientific name—Danaus Plexippus— Greek for “Sleepy Transformation,” gets part of the story right, but not the epic whole. Monarch butterflies embark on an amazing migratory phenomenon as they have the ability to hibernate and metamorphose.  International conservation efforts to protect and restore monarch habitat are ongoing. These efforts may help improve the near-endangered/endangered status of the species; but we, as ordinary citizens, can easily help the monarch butterfly recovery right in our own backyards and gardens.

Wishing all of you and our amazing monarch butterflies…
“An Amazing New Year!”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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“Autumnal Archway” (HAIKU) by Bette A. Stevens


Autumnal Archway

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Summer gate closes
As autumn’s brilliant archway
Beckons—nature’s call

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

About the author

Maine author Bette A. Stevens pictured with a male Monarch butterfly drying its wings after emerging from its chrysalis.

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book about a monarch butterfly; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP—a coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Stevens is currently working on her first poetry book—MY MAINE, a seasonal haiku collection—which she plans to publish fall (2018).

 

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Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens (+FREE “Help Protect Monarch Butterflies” Poster)


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened/near-endangered species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Plant Milkweed Today

Monarch Butterfly HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Regal messenger
Standing at the podium
“Plant milkweed today!”

Did you know that monarch butterflies and the monarch caterpillars’ host plant milkweed is one that monarchs rely upon for their survival?  This summer I was able catch a glimpse of 43 of these regal creatures dancing around my gardens where I encourage milkweed to flourish among the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we grow and harvest here at the farmstead in central Maine. I even managed to capture five of them with my Canon PowerShot~ Bette A. Stevens

Four more of the 43 Monarch butterflies sighted at the farmstead as of August 25, 2018.

 

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

More about monarchs

  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more…

Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Find AMAZING MATILDA and all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Inspiring children to meet challenges with patience and persistence.


“Meeting the challenges of life at every stage of life is no easy task. Matilda and her friends encourage readers and listeners of all ages to meet those challenges with patience and persistence.

“Matilda’s story is my story. It’s you story too. It’s a story the kids will want to hear you read to them again and again.” (Bette A. Stevens)

“One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of a [children’s] book, ‘Amazing Matilda’.” ~Paula Hrbecek Examiner.com

Amazing Matilda, A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens is available in paperback ($9.49) and eBook ($3.99) versions. Take a look inside and grab a copy or two today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AU9ZISA/  

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