Saturday, December 21, 2013

Butterfly Mecoin

In what struck Brigitte as a meaningful coincidence, the New York Times today, on its front page, brought a story about the Monarch butterfly and Milkweed—to close out a year in which, in the context of butterflies, was a central event in our live this year. Meaningful coincidences, we gratefully note, are frequent enough so that Brigitte has coined a new word to refer to them: mecoin; it’s easier to write in diaries and such than the full phrase with 23 letters.

Yes, we saw our own milkweed—planted in what seemed an almost meaningless gesture to help save the Monarch from ultimate doom—bloom for the first time this summer. Today we discovered that we are not alone. Major public efforts, headed by such institutions as the University of Northern Iowa (once a neighboring state), the University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas (we’ve lived in both of those states), along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences are collaborating in the establishment of large tracts of land on which the milkweed, and other ecology-friendly weeds, will grow profusely and provide the thinning populations of the Monarch a little genuine hope. To this list I should also add the State of Mexico; it is also striving to reverse this most deplorable population crash.

It’s warmish out; the snow still lies fairly thick on the ground. As it rains steadily. The year is almost over. I thought I’d written all I would, this year, on butterflies back in November. But now a mecoin gives me one last chance to promote this worthy effort.

And, by the way, we are also providing milkweed seed we’ve harvested to members of the far-flung family so that our batch will multiply and once more fill the earth.

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