Monarch Butterflies are in a death spiral. We are so casual about their loss. It is a heart-achingly beautiful world and we’re killing it. We’re killing it for our own convenience. We’re killing it for our personal greed. Climate change? We’ve got to make the profit, we’ve got to pump that oil, we’ve got to frack that oil, we’ve got to sell that oil, we’ve got to burn that oil or corporate empires will collapse so damn the butterflies, full speed ahead.
Cut those trees because families must be fed and when the forest is gone we’ll feed them something else. There’s profit to be made.
How do I explain to the next generation I let this happen on my watch?
This NYTimes video is eleven years old. (There may be an error in the type of milkweed is preferred.)
Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago my fall beach walks and kayaking excursions were filled with migrating monarchs. No more. I give my yard over to their favorite foods and far fewer are stopping to eat now. That shot is of New England Aster that I cultivate along with butterfly bush, tall phlox and milk weed, amongst others. It is not enough. There needs to be more of us helping feed them on the flyways. We need to protect the Mexican mountains where they winter.
Something beautiful is passing from this world.
Edit: I forgot the challenge tag. I see my asters from my front windows.
Layers of boats, buildings, bridges, flags and sailors!
Life is a feast and sometimes when you start the week you have no way of knowing where you’re going to be on a Saturday night. You are looking at some boats gathered in front of the Ale House on the Milwaukee river for the 19th annual Louie’s Last Regatta, which is a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and a great time. A friend invited and we said, “Sure!” We sailed over on Friday, raced on Saturday and sailed back on Sunday. It was a spectacular weekend.
The layers of flags? Those flags you see on boats mean something, they are not just decoration. They are won in regattas and flown with pride. We had to scrub the boat down during the crossing over to make her party ready and those flags are her hard-won crowning glory.
Below you see the captain of the boat we came over on, Every Day, a sweet Pearson 54′ double masted ketch, getting ready for the weekend’s parties by flying his colors. The other shot is of a child playing with the race flags on her family’s boat.
Louis’s Last Regatta is one of the largest regattas in the Great Lakes and has a lot of traditions from costumed crew contests and Bloody Mary race morning fundraisers to the honorable bribing of race officials in order to move up through the winning ranks. ALL money goes to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
We had a perfect, sun and wind filled September day. It was the largest regatta I have been in to date. It was an exciting race…and it’s all for the children.
https://www.chw.org/ The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Louis’s Last Regatta has a nice video on their website, boats on water @ 5 minute mark:
I went to the Michigan Irish Music Festival this weekend. It was the 18th annual fest but I’d never been before. It falls on a weekend I was always on lighthouse duty.
The festival was pretty nice, good beer and even better music. The food lines were long though and I was hot. It was between bands and I didn’t want to sit in a muggy stage tent and wait and I didn’t want to stand outside and wait for food. I could have desert first and if the lines went down I’d eat dinner.
I went to the ‘Irish Tea Room’ tent, bought a piece Guiness Chocolate Cake and iced Irish tea, turned to find seating, walked around the corner and through the back of the tent into paradise.
That’s my camera gear on the table left. At one point I decided I was no longer ‘waiting’ for food lines or bands but officially choosing to stay. It was so very peaceful and lovely I reached into my camera bag, got out a book (Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs) and started to read. After the sun set I went off in search of music.
I had really wanted Fish and Chips or Bangers and Mash and could have waited in the hot sun, standing on line until it set, missing this. You don’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get something better.
EDIT: The lines NEVER went down, they were longer. The food looked great and everyone was talking about how good it was. Instead of waiting for dinner I went into a tent and bought some dark beer, sat down front and enjoyed the music.
I had a TV dinner when I got home.
We spent a lot of time in Eastown the first 15 years we lived in Michigan. They are a neighborhood in Grand Rapids and their yearly Eastown Streetfair has it all; art, street art, performance art, canvassers, food booths, craft booths, live bands and lots of friends and families who play and dance down front when the bands are onstage:
This family with their matching urban mullets and personalized shoes are the essence of Eastown.
There were dogs, lots of dogs:
There were street performers and musicians:
There were established bands and beginning bands. There is a School for Rock in GR and this young bassist is a student. She and her band played some awesome original punk songs. She looks a rather dreamy punk bassist and the crowd was very supportive of her group.
I have to show you some of the goods that were available amongst all the food vendors and artisans:
I LOVED that Kenny meets Anonymous action figurine but I spent my money on an improvised comedy sketch troupe. You put money in the jar and they would do an improvised scene for you. After talking with them a bit they invited me to come join their troupe on Wednesday nights. Sail Race season ends the first Wednesday in October so my Wednesdays will be free.
Michigan is a wonderland of fairs and festivals from the bigger ones like the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven to smaller ones like the Asparagus Festival in Hart, but the Eastown Streetfair with its mix of artisans, families, hipsters, social activists and urban grunge has always been a favorite.