I’ll cut right to the chase. What’s wrong is that this monarch butterfly photo was taken last year. Why? Because this year, I have seen just two of them. TWO!
I read a story in our local paper about this lack of monarchs being “normal,” since populations rise and fall. I get that. But in the many decades I have lived on this planet, I don’t ever remember seeing so few.
Something’s up, people. Bees birds and butterflies are declining, all for various specific reasons, most of which can be traced back to toxic chemicals.
So I open my newest “Fine Gardening” magazine and what do I see? An article entitled “Setting the record straight on glyphosate.” The author, Jeff Gillman, writes that this chemical, commonly known as “Roundup” is “really not as harmful as we might think.”
Well, I beg to differ. While glyphosate, if used sparingly by intelligent people who actually read the directions, may not be that bad, the problem is that NO ONE EVER uses it sparingly.
I have seen Department of Transportation crews drenching knotweed with it from a large truck, with the wind blowing the spray in all directions. I have seen my in-laws’ neighbor spray his ENTIRE back yard with it “because there were weeds there.” And who hasn’t seen a homeowner out in shorts and sandals spraying the heck out of the weeds that have the temerity to grow in the cracks in his driveway?
I am not even going to get into the whole Monsanto thing, how the company bullies and sues and muscles its way around the world, engineering plants that are “Roundup ready” so farmers can spray the crap out of a field and the Roundup ready plants will survive. How sick is that?
I also found the editor’s letter in Fine Gardening rather limp. Steve Aitken lists the many things that most of us hate about glyphosate, and then writes that he believes the article to be “even-handed.” I am sure the marketing people at Monsanto thought it was, too.
I am still waiting to see my third monarch butterfly.