Karner Blue and Wild Lupine

Anne Kilmer viceroy at gate.net
Sat Feb 13 16:52:54 EST 1999

Michael S wrote:
> I live in the Chicago area where the Karner Blue is gone, If I plant the
> Wild lupine how will this help the population in our area?
> Is there a way I can get a permit from the Fish and Wildlife service and get
> a colony of Karner Blue established in our backyard?

It's easy and you won't need a permit.
Here's what you do. Create an interest among the schoolchildren in your
area. Find pockets and railroad tracks and highways where the host plant
community can be tweaked, or reestablished ... not just the lupine, but
all its friends and the soil it grows in. 
The garden clubs will help you. So will the county extension agency
(they need to find out which plants you need and help you choose sites
to extablish them.) So will your Master Gardeners (become one; it's fun)
You create thus a broad corridor of suitable habitat from a healthy
colony of Karner Blues to your yard and before you know it, there they
This is actually the only way to do it. You see, from a tiny backyard
colony, they fly out, fail to find their host plants or their nurturing
ants, and they're doomed. 
Are you going to be happy burning your yard every ten years or so? They
require that, I believe.
 I am not, by the way, being impractical. I have just returned from an
orgy of planting at St. Mary's Hospital where we preserved a goodish
swatch of dune, well upholstered with mustards and lepidium spp.
(shouldn't the whites be out by now?) removing the ragweed, and
decorating a silly, frilly little children's garden to ornament the
whole. Hundreds of celebrants, some of us leaning on canes, came and
gardened ... as did the medically fragile children for whom we planted
the garden. They loved getting muddy.
Our ant is the Florida red ant, bless its little heart ... I am
protecting it fiercely. 
We don't have enough coontie yet, but we will ... we will. And we'll
have the atala butterfly, Eumaeus atala. 
So hand out those wild lupine seeds and good luck to you ... tell us how
you're getting along. 
Anne Kilmer
South Florida

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