...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


a prayer for the butterflies and the bees

Sometimes gardening feels like praying.

A prayer of sorts, anyway.

Befriending the butterflies and the bees
is an extension of gardening,
and being a guardian of those small winged creatures
definitely feels like a kind of prayer to me. 

Prayer isn't just wishing and hoping
and calling upon higher powers.
Prayer is also action.
Prayer is doing everything you can. 

And we are praying for the honeybees,
doing everything we can think of to help them survive the winter.
 Winter is a really rough time for them.

I tried to make their hive as insulated and draft-free as possible:

I closed off the screened bottom board.
I closed the other entrances (i.e. bee holes) to keep drafts down.
(I left only one small reduced entrance 
for them to take cleansing flights as they are able to on warmer days.)

I stuffed insulation up inside the roof.
I wrapped the hive body itself with hive-wrap.
Then we stacked hay bales all around the hives
to try to provide a wind break, 
and some more insulation around the outside of the hive.
(The heart of the hive, in the center, is where the bees are now.)

As long as they made enough honey for themselves, 
they have a decent chance of surviving.

In the spring, we'll break down the hay bales
and use them for mulch or to keep weeds down in our garden paths.


We've been praying for the monarch butterflies, too.
They depend on native milkweed for their habitat and their food source.

 Here they are, our prayers in a bowl.

We saved native milkweed pods,
and we spread the seeds all around.


 We scattered them in the wind.

With hindsight, it may have been smarter to actually plant the seeds in the ground.

But I trust that nature will take it's course.
The wind blew the tufts of seeds all around. 
Some of the seeds clumped or got caught in grasses or wildflowers, 
but rains and snow will help them make their way down to the ground.
Leaves will continue to fall and provide natural mulch.
Many of these seeds should take root.
Life, after all, 
wants to live.

 Just like the monarch butterflies.

The past 20 years have shown 
approximately a 90% decline in the monarch population. 
(from 1 billion down to 30 million...!)
The good news is that with increased awareness and efforts, 
the numbers increased slightly last winter.
Let's keep that momentum going in the right direction!

 Visit www.plantmilkweed.org for more tips on what you can do to help the monarchs.

No comments:

Post a Comment