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Monarch butterflies: How we can help save them — one garden at a time

April 13, 2015By
Monarch butterflies: How we can help save them — one garden at a time

Monarch butterflies are — quite literally — a force of nature. They strike out each year by the thousands on a four-generation, 3,000-mile-long journey of pure instinct and faith.

They use both inherent and imprinted knowledge. They use subterfuge, placing their eggs on a plant that feeds their young caterpillars, but makes them poisonous and distasteful to predators. They use natural GPS.

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Marla Spivak: To grasp our bees’ plight and prospects, stay focused on food

March 15, 2015By
Marla Spivak: To grasp our bees’ plight and prospects, stay focused on food

As I listened to Marla Spivak discuss the plight and prospects of our honeybees on Monday evening, it occurred to me that I was watching a masterful application of Albert Einstein’s principle that complex matters should be made as simple as possible – but not simpler.

Most of us have grasped by now that honeybees are under pressure from multiple sources, with certain insecticides, habitat loss, parasites and disease in the leading roles.

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Planting a future for monarch butterflies

March 9, 2015By
Planting a future for monarch butterflies

I have a confession to make. A few years ago, on a farm I own in eastern Nebraska, I took 44 acres out of production, on purpose. That’s a lot.

Where corn and beans once grew, I planted tall, native grasses and wildflowers. Among area farmers, this was seen as nothing short of scandalous.

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The Impact of the Individual

February 19, 2015By
The Impact of the Individual

My mantra has always been “the impact of the individual, the impact of the individual…” I have had great teachers in my life that made sure I realized that we indeed make a difference – but it’s up to us to choose if it’s a positive or negative one.

This all started with Gary Nabhan and his wonderful, heartwarming idea for Make Way for Monarchs to sponsor a “Day of Action and Contemplation”…

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Oklahoma Critical Piece In Preventing Extinction Of Monarch Butterfly

February 13, 2015By
Oklahoma Critical Piece In Preventing Extinction Of Monarch Butterfly

You could make a good case that the Monarch butterfly is America’s favorite insect. Unfortunately, it’s in a death spiral, of our making, as we may have lost 90 percent of the Monarch. This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service unveiled a massive effort to save the Monarch migration, which will soon carry the butterflies over Oklahoma, on their way from Mexico to the upper Midwest.

We used to be able to blame the Monarch’s decline on Mexican farmers, who cut down the trees in the butterfly’s over-wintering grounds.

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The monarch massacre: Nearly a billion butterflies have vanished

February 10, 2015By
The monarch massacre: Nearly a billion butterflies have vanished

Threatened animals like elephants, porpoises and lions grab all the headlines, but what’s happening to monarch butterflies is nothing short of a massacre. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service summed it up in just one grim statistic on Monday: Since 1990, about 970 million have vanished.

It happened as farmers and homeowners sprayed herbicides on milkweed plants, which serve as the butterflies’ nursery, food source and home.

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Monarch butterfly West Coast migration in jeopardy, scientists say

September 2, 2014By
Monarch butterfly West Coast migration in jeopardy, scientists say

In October, millions of monarch butterflies will make a long migration from Canada to Mexico, many stopping in Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, and Big Sur along the way.

Millions of Monarch butterflies make the long journey from Canada to Mexico — many stopping in Pacific Grove ….

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How to Create Your Own Monarch Butterfly Rest Stop

August 21, 2014By
How to Create Your Own Monarch Butterfly Rest Stop

Habitat loss and the destruction of native plants have been responsible for the rapid decline of the monarch butterfly, the most recognized butterfly in North America. To help protect these majestic insects as they migrate, citizens in the U.S. are resorting to a simple yet powerful tool: gardening.

Gardens full of milkweed and nectar plants can serve both as rest stops for adult monarchs and as nurseries for their eggs.

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