Butterflies in manicured suburban habitats

Anne Kilmer viceroy at gate.net
Mon Jan 21 11:36:06 EST 2002

Grkovich, Alex wrote:

> I spent five years on a tobacco farm as a youth, from 1959 to 1964, near St.
> Thomas, Ontario (just north of Lake Erie). There isn't 10% of the numbers of
> butterflies today that there was then (and 10% is being liberal, believe
> me).
> In June 1993, my family and I spent a week at Marco Island, Florida. There
> had just finished an intensive "mosquito spraying" program. I saw not one
> butterfly on Marco Island, and very few even along the western part of the
> Tamiami Trail (Rt. 41). Also, the Naples that I found there was now an ugly,
> sprawling metropolis of cheap houses, endless in sight, with nothing left of
> any natural habitat; not the beautiful, still quite wild Naples that was
> there was I was a college student in the late 60's early 70's. No wonder
> everything in south Florida is in trouble.
> Folks, God's lovely creation is in deep trouble. There is no question about
> that.

Maybe the approach Paul describes would help in the Miami area? 
Butterfly zone signs, perhaps even with pictures of the Miami Blue on 
them? Those could also be displayed along the highways, where the DOT 
and homeowners might conspire to add Balloon Vine to the fences 
currently overgrown with vines anyway.
That would console the people who think everything ought to be manicured.
There are quite a few other vines I'd like to add to the mix, as well.
In many areas, local garden clubs work with the DOT to plan plantings. 
Given butterfly information, they are eager to help out.

I-95 runs along an old dune line; along it people could plant scrub 
vegetation. That's what was there before it was put through. But they 
are afraid of letting some soil show. Grass, that's what God wants. ;-(

Alex, we've always been in trouble, since we ate that apple. We 
certainly need to solve the mosquito spraying problem in Florida (and 
everywhere) ... Mike Gochfeld did a great article on that in the NABA 
magazine a couple years ago. Could use another airing.
If we encouraged the mosquitoes, it might reduce our overpopulation 
problem here ... don't come here to live; just mail us your money. ;-)
Anne Kilmer
South Florida


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