by Nan DeGrove

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Butterflies seems to float between the worlds, weightless, delicate as a falling leaf, Due to their miraculous metamorphosis from caterpillar to winged beauty, they have long been a symbol for the soul, for resurrection and rebirth. With their exquisite gossamer wings and elegant symmetry, it’s amazing, really, that they even exist in our world, but they have been on the Earth for over 40 million years, Their contribution to the beauty of our surroundings is immeasurable, but their practical work as pollinators is essential to the survival of all species. As common as a daisy, they might hardly be noticed, taken for granted, until…they aren’t there. As the days of summer pass, It feels almost eerie to me—a visual void where there should be color and movement. All their favorite flowers are in my organic garden, but I’ve only seen an occasional swallowtail, and a few whites. Recently, a lone swallowtail repeatedly flew against a glass door, as a bird might do, perhaps mistaking its reflection for another of its kind.

I have seen this decline over the past few years, but nothing like this summer. Where I live organic farms struggle near GMO fields of corn and beets. Open meadows vanish weekly, gobbled up by development. The combination of habitat loss and pesticide use may be too much for our precious butterflies, as well as bees, birds, and a host of other wild creatures. This is not just a local problem, but I’m curious if other readers of this blog have seen fewer of their beloved butterflies. Perhaps you could share your butterfly stories.

Sunflowers and Moon Flowers

August is the month of Leo, when sunflowers, quintessential Leo flowers, run riot, attracting their matching bird, the goldfinch. both tokens of optimism and cheer. The magic night-blooming datura is in its glory now, opening at twilight as the Sun goes to bed, and the Moon and stars appear. The sphinx moths are attracted to the intoxicating scent and delicate pollen of the bell shaped blooms, and in the morning, before the blooms fold, they are full of bees.
Datura honey?

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The full moon in Aquarius will be on the early morning (3:26 a.m. MDT) of August 18th. The moon falls very near the Aquarius moon in the U.S. chart, making this a continued time of volatile and surprising national events. The Aquarian ideas of peace and harmony that were the spirit of the 60’s seems now like quaint relic of a bygone time, but Aquarius still evokes the dream of humanity—of a more peaceful and just world. After all, we only crawled out of the mud about 200 thousand years ago, while
butterflies have been here for some 40 million years.

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