Art, nature and monarchs

By Lisa Yemma of Yemma Farms

When art and nature collide the result is magnificent. A couple weeks ago I put out a request for poems about the monarch butterfly. 

You see, the monarch butterfly represents nature, our love of nature, our concern with protecting nature. The monarch is incredible. Yes, the metamorphosis of egg to larvae to pupa to adult is amazing, but that’s not all. The monarch is the only butterfly that completes a two-way migration each year, over thousands of miles. Just type monarch butterflies into your web browser and you’ll be bombarded with information. This journey is only possible when there are enough sources of nutrients. Most people know that butterflies eat nectar from flowers, however, when the butterflies lay eggs and those eggs turn into caterpillars, the monarch caterpillars can only eat one type of plant — milkweed.
There are many species of milkweed that grow in our area, but with the increase in cutting down forests, and decreasing habitats, the monarchs are depending on us. 

The solution? Plant milkweed in your garden. Have a small garden? Great, plant a few. Have a large garden? Great, plant many. And guess what, when you plant it, they will come. Know a business that could use some plants? Great, plant them in a container.

The monarchs will lay eggs on your milkweed, the caterpillars will eat the leaves, (don’t worry, they regrow), the caterpillars will hang and transform into a chrysalis, and then the adult butterfly emerges. Experiencing the metamorphosis of the monarch is something to celebrate indeed.

Enjoy this monarch poem submitted by our own Delane Sellers.

The Monarch

By Delane Sellers

Whether called Monarch or a Black Veined Brown,

Oh, what a beautiful butterfly has come to town!

It’s mostly orange, white, and black;

With 6 legs to help keep it on track.

Babies eat only milkweed,

But adults may also choose thistle or wild carrots on which to feed.

Mother Monarch has eggs to lay,

But as eggs they do not stay.

There are three more stages to go!

They are larvae, pupa, and adult – now you know!

If they survive the climate and herbicides,

Then they all go on very long rides.

You see, in later summer or early fall,

They all migrate south,

All for one and one for all!

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