What Caught My Eye: Misplaced Monarchs and Collapsing Ecosystems

It’s a cold and gray day here in Cincinnati. After a lovely breakfast with a great friend, I headed outside to fill up the bird feeders, pull up more tomato plants, check my fall crops, and do a few other garden chores.

But I’ve spent most of the day inside, reading and catching up on blog posts and other articles I’ve been meaning to read. Here are a few interesting articles that caught my eye:

Misplaced monarchs: Clusters of butterflies stuck up north | Phys.org

Have you heard about this large population of Monarch butterflies that should be in Mexico by now? They’re not really misplaced; they’re just in the wrong place. It’s an interesting situation and this article provides a lot of great information about what may be happening.

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans | The Guardian

I can’t say the title of this article surprised me. But the stats (staggering numbers) in the article are eye-opening. I like to give humans the benefit of the doubt but it’s hard at times.

Why Insect Gardens Are About to Become the Biggest Trend in Landscaping | Country Living

Gardens should be all-inclusive, too. I’m all for spotting bees and butterflies in the garden. But I also check the garden for spiders, green lacewings, lady bugs, and other beneficial insects. Check in with me next spring and I’ll let you know how my insect garden plans are shaping up. Because I need yet one more garden project (that’s sarcasm, folks).

4 Comments

  1. Dave
    October 30, 2017

    I’d heard about the misplaced monarchs, but not the rest. Collectively, I think we’re too uneducated and apathetic to reverse this worrying trend. I hope I’m wrong about that.

    My own butterfly garden is struggling. The milkweed seems to be spreading, but it gets attacked by milkweed bugs, which damage the leaves but don’t seem to be totally killing the plants. I’m going to seed more soon. What other plants do you suggest?

    1. Sarah | Horseradish & Honey
      October 30, 2017

      You’re right that milkweed bugs won’t kill the plants. They are a bit creepy but live and let live, right? Also, milkweed will take a few years to really get established. If you want to plant other nectar sources for migrating monarchs, consider adding Liatris/Blazingstar (you’d need to choose a variety based on how high you want it, etc.). You could also sow some Profusion Zinnia seeds next spring. They’re annuals but generally grow all season and don’t need a lot of care. Pollinators love them! Finally, there’s some good info in this quick guide from Ohio State University.

  2. Mary R Gilbert
    October 30, 2017

    Thanks for the additions to my “leisure reading” I think that you forgot to add a few photos???
    xx,
    M

    1. Sarah | Horseradish & Honey
      October 30, 2017

      Actually, I didn’t post a single photo for this one. I guess I was feeling cold and gray, too. 🙂

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