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I recently heard that the Monarch population is dropping rapidly and they are close to being considered endangered. I have heard similar things about fireflies. I own a 1.3 acre vacant lot (next to my house) that I have turned into a field of tall grass, shade trees and conifers. Looking for suggestions on what can be done to assist these beautiful creatures thrive (at least on my little piece of the universe).
 

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I have a field accross the road from me that has fallen into disuse these last 20 years and has grwon up in various tall grasses, weeds wild apple trees etc. I don't think I'm on any kind of monarch migration route but the show of fireflies in there on a summer evening is really something.

Much of the land around here is forest, rock, bush, lakes, rivers....marginal farming. a few of the bigger valleys support some nice operations but often times these smaller fields just sort of get neglected when smaller holdings are no longer "worth the effort".

That said, agriculture seems to be making a bit of a comeback.

Hope the monarchs, fireflies, bees and people survive. :)
 

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the show of fireflies in there on a summer evening is really something.
When I first purchased my property 3 years ago, the show from the firelies was spectacular. After clearing the lot of brush, fertilzing, applying grub control, weed killer, etc, the number is noticibly down (they are still plentiful, just not as impressive). I hope to turn this around.

I am going to stop the applications and keep the grass tall (mowing only once in the fall and a few times in the spring).


Hope the monarchs, fireflies, bees and people survive. :)
People don't stand a chance without butterflies, bees, etc.
 

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not to hijack but there's not as many toads frogs around anymore either years ago there were bunches of them now I only see one now n then
 

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We've seen very few monarchs the last couple of years & have left milkweeds to grow around the property. In the past, we've had several Monarch larvae (worms) feeding on the milkweeds, but we didn't find any on the last year & only one so far this year. Didn't find any Monarch cocoons last year & have had several in the past. More butterflies this year than last though! ~~ Lowell
 

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hafta agree with the lack of toads and frogs, never see toads in the yard anymore occasionally a frog or two will move into my Koi pond, maybe that's why there's a huge tick problem now?
 

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We are the exact opposite up here in southern ontario. I have seen more Fireflies and Toads/Frogs up here than i ever have. I saw 3 frogs today, they are everywhere!

I havn't seen many monarchs yet but we usually dont see them till fall. One year a whole flock(?) was in our 20 maple trees down the side of my property. There were hundreds of thousands of them it was quite a sight


Mikey.

Thread on my Ford (Profile Tractor)
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=495546
 

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Yes it is true the monarchs are in big trouble in part to the logging off of their southern winter range. Also here in the states so many seem to feel they have to mow down every blade of grass in vacant fields that gets over a inch tall.

As stated above get milk weed seed, plant it. It is where the butter flies lay the eggs that turn into caterpillars then into the butterflies.

Honey bees also love the nectar from the milk weed blooms and that turns into some great tasting honey.
Honey bees are also in trouble in the USA.

Don't squash this caterpillar and watch for solider bugs that feed on them.



 

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You can gather milk weed pods and scatter the seeds. For butterflies, check your state's conservation dept or a local nature center. Native flowering plants are always good. Echinacea (purple cone flower) is native to Ontario and the eastern US, all the way to Texas. Monarchs and swallowtail butterflies like them, and goldfinches like the seeds. The plant spreads underground. You can plant root cuttings, divided clumps, or by seed.
 

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We had tons of fireflies this year. I don't know if it's because of the cooler nights or what. They started in June & there are still quite a few out in the evenings.

Monarchs like the milkweeds. Have not seen many this year even though there are a lot of milkweeds around since fields are not used for hay around here much anymore.
 

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We have been helping the Monarch's locally with making sure the milkweed plants are growing well and did you know that there is an outfit that will send those interested in seeing the complete cycle of the monarch caterpillars to adult butterfly , they send 10 to 15 monarch caterpillars that are a few days old to be raised by you which is very easy provided you have at least a few milkweed plant's as you need fresh leaves to feed them . Then when they complete the change to butterflies they supply you with numbered tags that you stick one on their wing and a log page to record the butterfly's sex and date and place released which you send back to the outfit , all part of research that's being done .

they are called Monarch watch .org
The web address is [email protected] or phone 1-888-824-4464

Yes we also gather wild ones from the milkweed plants and tags those too . Currently we have 25 from the group and 10 found local and counting just in our yard .Have had one released all ready and a few that will be emerging in a matter of days then the fun happens when the majority will be on the same time schedule !
 

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Found 10 stripers on this Milkweed plant today. Second pic is a yellow blooming Milkweed about 3' from the first one that had several on it a couple of days ago. Cocoon is just above them under the eave of the tool shed.

We've only been sure of 4 adult Monarchs in our yard in recent weeks. ~~ Lowell
 

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throw milk weed seed around that,s where i see the caterpillar on.been awful wet last two years to.
I agree, herbicide free milk weed is what monarchs need, it's where they choose to deposit their eggs. I mow the neighbor's field, next door to me twice a year. We've agreed tp leave the stand of milk weed in place until the October mowing to encourage the migrant buterflies. Unfortunately I can't talk them into less agressive applications of weed and bug killers on their lawn, a place where a weed would not dare grow. The good new is that the field is about 3 acres compared to about 1/2 acre of lawn. Not sure how these applications affect the monarchs. Don't know what they are putting down either as a professional service does it. Personally I'd like to see all of these chemical applications to lawns and gardens ended by law.
 

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Especially monsantos roundup
I have used Round Up and I don't like to. I really don't like Monsanto so I at least get another brand. I have just read about some organic weed killers in GRIT. One that's homemade another that's commercial. I'm going to try both.

We have some property on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes. Also known as Spud Isle, there is a huge potato industry there. The Islanders are trying to ban Round Up as huge quantities are used to kill weeds in tyhe potato fields. One farmer I met has 6,000 acres of plantings so you can get an idea of how much herbicide is being used.
 

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We had tons of fireflies this year. I don't know if it's because of the cooler nights or what. They started in June & there are still quite a few out in the evenings.
I've also noticed that there are a lot more fireflies this year. Or perhaps I should say that this year they exist whereas last year they were extremely rare.
 
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