Hello everyone. Sorry I have been absent for the last few days but I have been too tired to put a thought together, and an intelligent post was out of the question. We had a change in management for the apartments I live in and there was some grumbling that we shouldn’t be allowed to use the back field any longer. Finally, the answer I got was that they feared it might look messy. I called in help and with my family, friends, and neighbors we worked out there day and night to change the looks of the seating area we named The Little Cove, trimmed dead branches from trees and pulled vines that have been growing since before I moved here.
It was nice to see how many people turned out to help to save this piece of land for us but my shoulders and arms were so sore by the end of the night I couldn’t lift my arms and had a few sleepless nights due to sore muscles.
Plants and seeds have been donated to us, my son is bringing us six foot tall clippings from his lilac tree and the children decided this year where each type of flower seed should be planted. In the end, it was a success and we are no longer concerned about losing the field for our use, even the community garden areas passed approval.
All that was to explain why I have been absent. Before I share a few Friday Fave articles, I did miss Change the World Wednesday at Reduce Footprints which is a very important subject, Monarch Butterflies.
This quote from Small Footprints sums it up nicely. “Often, our first indication that the environment is suffering is in the decline of a species. Each species helps create a healthy environment and the loss of even one may have far-reaching, devastating results. “
I have yet to see a Monarch butterfly this summer, but then again we haven’t seen many butterflies of any species. We are seeing a big change in our local area with less bees, and a huge drop in our native bat population. All these signs tell us we are in trouble.
With the Monarch Butterflies, the problem is more serious than with other butterflies as their survival is contingent on the milkweed plant. ” In their larval stage monarch caterpillars feed almost exclusively on milkweed and as adults get their nutrients from the nectar of flowers. The monarch will always return to areas rich in milkweed to lay their eggs upon the plant. The milkweed they feed on as a caterpillar is actually a poisonous toxin and is stored in their bodies. This is what makes the monarch butterfly taste so terrible to predators.” (source)
In my town Milkweed was plenty in past years, but it’s getting harder to locate. To help the butterflies I have ordered milkweed seeds and will dedicate an area just for milkweed plants. Once grown the Monarch enjoy the nectar from smaller flowers such as those that grow on the butterfly bush, lambs ears and many others.
I hope you will visit Reduce Footprints for more ways you can help the Monarch butterfly. Also keep an eye out for animals and insects that are shrinking in your area to evaluate the health of your community.
Thankfully, I did have a bit of time online earlier in the week so I have a handful of articles for you.
- Lindsay @ Treading My Own Path updated her About page, finally telling us how she found herself a sustainable living advocate. It all started with one documentary. Her story shows it doesn’t have to be something big, we can change the world with one small message.
- It’s hard aging, I should know. I am constantly amazed by the image staring back at me from my mirror, that’s not who I am, I’m not that old! Pauline had me cracking up as she comes face to face with the realization she too doesn’t look at young as she feels.
- An engineer and his wife have raised enough money to start paving roads with solar cells. At first I thought the idea was a bit crazy, I mean I live where a snow plow would destroy a road like this. But these panels have been tested and if our roadways were covered with these from one side of the country to the next they would produce three times the power needed at current demand. These panels don’t just collect energy from the sun, they have built in lighting which would replace the need to paint lines on the roads, and will heat to melt snow as it falls eliminating the need for plows. Yes, covering the roads in my town with these would be costly, but if we could generate out own electricity, melt snow, prevent the need for plows (and the salt used) the roads would last longer and eliminate the need to rip up and patch the streets each spring. What other benefits can you see to paving our roads with solar collectors?
- I am not much of a foodie, I have said many times I wish I didn’t have to eat but alas I do to stay healthy. But now there is an option, Soylent. Would you give up food and get all the nutrients you needed from a supplement?
I will leave you with this short video that has shocked everyone I shared it with. Never again be tempted to say birds are stupid or can’t learn.
The proper use of science is not to conquer nature but to live in it. – Barry Commoner