How water usage doesn’t just affect us; it is affecting the migration of the monarchs, too!
Simply put, people think that I tend to not feign to be interested in the beauty of nature. Well, that simply put, just isn’t true. I may be a rough’n'tumble’-hold you to your word- not afraid to get dirty-construction site sort of person; however, I can see the beauty in all sorts of things. I can especially see the beauty in nature, and I can especially see the beauty in something that has the stamina and wherewithal to make a trip from Canada to Mexico year after year for the survival of the species. Monarchs. Yeah, we’re talking somewhat about butterflies today. Who knew?
So, I was cruising through Yahoo! Reader about to get ready to do some of my business admin work for a job we’re about to complete here in Arlington, VA and I saw this stunning photograph of several Monarch butterflies perched on a thistle, with a background of cerulean that nearly looked like the ocean. The photo was captivating, so I clicked it. Damn marketing doing its work, huh? Yeah. It is working.
The article in a nut shell: Monarchs are having difficulty getting from point A to point B because of the severe drought that our nation is going through and there might not be enough Milkthistle for the Monarchs to lay their eggs on once they are ready to do so, and this is the only plant they lay their eggs on. Plus, the vast wasteland that much of Texas has become because of the ravages of drought means no plants for nectar and water for these migrant butterflies to stop and re-fuel on this trans-continental voyage. Yikes. I mean, just a few months ago Bastrop and Spicewood, Texas were disaster areas with thousands of acres of wildfires devastating the corridor that these butterflies hike down. Now what does this mean for us? How does this drought affect us over here in Northern Virginia? So, we’re not butterflies going from Canada to Michoacan, are we? But, think about the milk ration signs you may be seeing at your local grocery store: ” Due to the water shortages in the mid-west we are on a Milk ration at this grocery store until further notice.We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” Hello, dust bowl.
This is scary stuff, people. Back to the Monarchs and their brave battle…the eye-catching article stated that: “Monarch populations have faced significant declines over the last two decades, hit hard by a steep reduction in milkweed across North America, the only plant upon which the butterflies lay their eggs. Due to herbicide use and farming practices in the United States, milkweed has disappeared from some 140 million acres in the last 10 years, Taylor said.
It’s still not clear how well this year’s monarch population survived their journey south, he said, since it’s hard to assess how many butterflies survived, and how much fat they’ve stored ahead of winter.
‘It’s one step at a time,” Taylor said, “but what they did to get through Texas could have consequences all the way into early next summer.’ ”
As for the Monarchs, we’ll have to see how they survive. As for all of us, what can we do? Conserve water. Look for ways to decrease the water use in your everyday life. Look for ways to decrease water use in your house and business. If you’re building a new home, use low flow, or dual flush, go with flash hot water or on demand hot water to not sit and wait for hot water, use drought tolerant or xeriscaped/native landscaping… Shall I go on? If you are already in your home, retrofit your current fixtures if you are able and monitor your water intake. You can always take a shower instead of a bath- and for that, we thank you… Just think of the Monarchs.