The Monarch’s Last Flight











Photo by Donald Lindsey (September 2015)

Does anyone not appreciate a spectacular butterfly? I have been unsettled by the lack of monarch butterflies this late summer in my gardens. Last summer they swarmed my yard. Alas, I have seen only one this season.

So why the decrease in numbers? From my studies, I’ve learned that monarch butterflies are facing a 90 percent decline in numbers. Several organizations are clamoring for monarchs to be designated as a threatened species.

To learn more about the plight of monarch butterflies, read my poem and follow the links to learn of the problems they face and what you can do to help them bounce back.

If you have a monarch butterfly report for your area of the US, feel free to comment and let me know what you are seeing in your back yard.

To the monarch’s success!


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Aphid Infestation Alert

leatherwing beetle (1)

Two Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetles mating on a cosmos flower.
Garden Tip:

We plant cosmos (among other flowers that help gardeners with nasty predators) around our vegetable garden every year to attract the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus). They showed up in force last week, in the nick of time! A day earlier, I noticed aphids in our green beans. Three days later the aphids were nowhere to be seen; they were all eaten up!

These sap sucking insects I found in my green beans (aphids!)  are members of the “superfamily Aphidy oidea,” which farmers and gardeners have been cussing about for eons. Honestly, they can destroy a garden rather quickly!

This versatile insect, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (PLB), is a gardener’s best friend, and it is also the inspiration for this week’s haiku. Enjoy!

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Silver Lining


In “A Prayer of Moses, A Man of God,” we learn that “… the years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty,” and if you read 5 lines down, he sends out a plea to God: “So teach us to number our days / that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90). In Psalm 139, the psalmist explains how the Lord has formed our days and written them in his book, “… when as yet there was none of them.”

Whether you have given your assent to biblical truths and trust in them is beside the point. We’re all destined for bodily (and/or mental) decay, and eventually a terrestrial death.

I’ve been thinking about quality of life issues in my elder years (I’m not quite there yet), but also thinking about how joyful life is at age sixty. How long will I continue to to experience this great peace and joy? I hope to have it up until my final (most glorious) day, which will definitely be eternal.

These are the thoughts that inspired this poem, “Silver Lining.” Enjoy! Continue reading