viceroy at anu.ie
Thu May 25 09:04:54 EDT 2000
Boydtd at aol.com wrote:
> Welcome back to Ireland! You said in a recent e-mail that building a
> butterfly garden would impact on the lives of a lot of little guys. I know
> this is true and hope the impact is favourable on the whole (one man's meat
> is another man's parson). We are so urbanised and agriculturally fertilised
> that the whole environment is inhospitable or even hostile to most little
> guys except for the oases provided by gardens of any kind, butterfly or
> normal - read Chris Baines of Birmingham University. He also called gardens
> butterfly pubs. Then there is also the joy that greenery, colour and the
> little guys in the garden bring to big guys like me, even on a grey wet Irish
> day. More power to your elbow.
> Trevor Boyd
> Butterfly Conservation (Northern Ireland)
Thanks. Happy to be back.
As to the butterfly garden's impact, bless you, it all depends. I know
people who try to protect their
butterflies by killing wasp nests, shooing away birds and even taking
the caterpillars into the house to keep them "safe". But it'll all be
same in a hundred years, and the enemy is the bulldozer, not us little
folks with our trowels and rakes. The moral high ground is a mine field,
as you know.
Urban gardens improve things for the environment, you bet. Rural
clear-the-woods and plant a garden, not so
hot. But I dunno, most woods is second growth, and there's not a lot of
virgin timber left, anywhere on the planet. There's not an inch of
Ireland that hasn't been dug over a score of times, and every rock has
But, you know, making habitat for butterflies, fine enough. But what
about the beetles? Spiders? Solitary bees?
A sweet disorder in the hedges
Makes habitat along the edges
as the poet says.
It's a rainbow day, and I have bought a leg of lamb and a large smoked
salmon, and I won't have to cook for weeks. Except to bake bread, of
course, and that's easy. Now would be a good time to come calling.
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