Monarchs Make Us So Happy

Beat back the depression and anxiety of the pandemic by stepping outside. Rain or shine, breathe in, behold, and hearken to the nurturing power of nature!

Our hearts have filled with joy this season because everywhere we look are monarch butterflies. In and out of our tree lined borders of our fields, feeding on the clover and alfalfa blossoms, and laying their eggs on the milkweed leaves, they flutter and soar.

Monarchs bring life. And so do the bees and other bugs. Photo by John

Monarchs bring life. And so do the bees and other bugs. Photo by John

They are immigrants from Mexico, laboring thousands of miles to do their work of pollinating. While larvae they took in the poison of the milkweed, and turned it to their advantage. Now predator birds stay away, knowing how bitter can be a meal of monarch.

When we first started farming we read the books on weeds and were advised to cut out all the milkweed, because it can be toxic to our sheep. Kill all that is a threat to our beasts, we were told. But we grieved to learn that 80 to 90% of the monarchs had been killed because they had no place to lay their eggs, and their young had nothing to eat. So, we started to let them be. We still keep them from grazing sheep, but we have learned our sheep, the bugs, and we can coexist.

And now, we rejoice!!!

 

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About John

John is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served congregations for over 40 years, including in rural, suburban, campus ministry and urban settings. His love of Border Collie sheepdogs has been fortified by his many friendships with shepherds all around the world. Nothing he has ever or will ever accomplish is as significant as the patience God, his wife and his friends have shown in putting up with his deficiencies.
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