Tag Archives: Monarch Butterflies

In the Garden of Impatience, SLR/IRL

“Patience is a virtue…” 

Yesterday, I went to my garden. A garden for butterflies that I planted in 2011 during my mayorship for the Town of Sewall’s Point.

It was at this time, that I realized I needed a place to go, close to home, to get away, when I was grinding my teeth so hard at night that I would awake with headaches. This garden has calmed many nerves, and brought both beauty and delight to Ed and my home.

I learn a lot of lessons from my garden. But I still have a lot to learn…

…Upon getting the newspaper from the driveway, I noticed a monarch butterfly that had just emerged from its chrysalis drying its wings on the shrimp plant by my front door. The orange, black, and white pattern against green and red was quite striking. I decided to do something I have never done, watch the butterfly dry its wings, and to wait to watch it fly off.

Every few minutes its stain-glassed wings would open to the sun and wind, and then it would sit motionless. When its wings opened again, I could see its body tighten and contort, pumping liquid deep into its wings. It looked uncomfortable this miraculous metamorphosis. Finally, it seemed erect and proud; I kept waiting for it to fly off, but it didn’t.

I counted the white spots on its wings and body to pass time. I studied its bizarre mouth and antennae. I laid on the ground. I took pictures. I tried to be patient. I thought about all I needed to do. I thought about how I would be breaking a deal with myself ~to see a newborn butterfly fly away, if I walked off.

“Come on butterfly!” I said. “You can do it!” But it did not fly off. It just sat there.

I thought about how in the garden there is no rush, as in my own life, to finish the “task.”  Things take the time needed to take, and that is all…

I waited. I wondered. I wished.

I started to get impatient.

“I can’t believe I am losing my patience with a butterfly,” I thought. “This is not good; my plan is backfiring.”

I took some breaths, calmed myself down, and tried to be like nature. Ever-present. Ever-enduring, patient in my Garden of Impatience…

It did not work. I noticed I was grinding my teeth. ” I’ve got so much to do!” I walked two steps towards the rose-bush, just to regroup, taking my eyes off the butterfly for the very first time… It could not have been more than a second.

When I turned around, the butterfly was gone!

I smiled, in disbelief, thinking for a moment “I can’t believe I wasted all this time,” looking into the sky for fluttering wings, but there were none. There was just the sound of the wind and the warmth of the sun — the eternal.

There is no time wasted in the lessons of nature, I suppose…

I walked back into the house “to get things done.”  🙂

Monarch Butterflies, Florida,IFAS, UF:http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw311

4th Generation Monarch Butterflies, the River Warriors, and the Indian River Lagoon

Fourth generation monarch butterflies are made for the long haul.
Fourth generation monarch butterflies emerge from their chrysalises uniquely made for the long-haul…(Photos by Ed Lippisch)

photo photo monarch.flightpath

 

When the pressure and destruction of last summer’s releases from Lake Okeechobee and the local canals overcame my world, I decided I needed to do something to keep a positive attitude; I started a butterfly garden in my yard.

It has been an amazing experience learning about the “hosts” plants that imediately bring a specific butterfly to the garden; the nectar plants the butterflies can “eat;” the eggs and “Transformer- like,” funny,  caterpillars that emerge to consume the host plants; the chrysalises that hang like Christmas bulbs everywhere; and finally the spectacular emerging butterflies.

So far, I have mostly had zebra long-wing, various swallowtails, dagger-winged, gulf fritillary, and monarchs. Each has their own cool story, but the monarch has something special as far as “inspiration” goes, and I liken it to the Indian River Movement, or the “River Warriors” as its been coined.

No one can explain the following, as God has made the world a mystery, but the fourth generation of monarch butterflies is genetically programmed, unlike the rest of its family heritage, for the “long haul,” to make the migration.

For me this is like the Indian River Movement, the “River Warriors.”

Yes, we are the fourth generation of Martin County’s pioneer residents trying to save the river. The area’s first generation started as early as  the beginning of the 1900s.

In case you are unfamiliar, let me explain.

According to scientists, the first three generations of monarch butterflies  live around 4-6 weeks flying, breeding and eating, but the 4th generation of monarch butterflies are different. They  live 6-8 months and are the only generation to participate in the long haul “migration,” as seen on the map above.

We, the River Movement of 2013, are the river movement’s 4th generation. The “long-haul” generation. We will take the Indian River Lagoon further than most, closer to the finish line.

In conclusion, life is a mystery, and much is not completely understood…

But what is understood, is that we, the River Movement of 2013, are a generation that is different!

 

 

LINKS

Monarch migration maps: (https://www.google.com/search?q=monarch+migration+map&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ZYdGU-MsxpvZBYrBgKgP&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1897&bih=803)

Monarch butterflies, 4th generation difference: (http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/monarch-butterflies-facts.html)