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Old 07-01-2010, 10:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tineckbone View Post
It isn't easy because I know the chances of him being eaten are very high. If he does make it or one of his siblings then that will be another late birthday present. The fact that he/she is there at all is the gift to me. I have a very strong belief in all species being equal. It is the basis and cornerstone of my philosophy of life and a fundamental of my faith.
Your philosophy brings up an interesting question, one that was also raised by Amelanchier in his thread on the picture tour. Both threads beg the question of whether a "hands off" policy in habitat and animal husbandry is wise. In this case, at a time when Lepidoptera numbers are way down due to human activity like habitat destruction, pollution and the introduction of alien species, is it still wise to "let nature be?"

Drawing in Amelanchier's point about not interfering with deer herds that are defoliating remaining habitat, is it wise to "let nature be?"

Seems to me in both cases the damage already done by humans demands we steer the course of nature a bit, knowing all the while that only carefully deliberated solutions should be advanced. A no-brainer example, in my view, being the culling of the herds. The artificial propagation of occasional egg clusters of disadvantaged butterfly and moth species, though not as cut and dry an issue as I find the deer problem, falls into the same general category.

What say you??
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:47 PM   #22
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Well, our plump, green cat has changed again! I had the privilege of witnessing our caterpillar, now dressed in yellow, spin a web of silk around his every changed body!! Here are a couple photos--I am not the photographer that John is, but if you enlarge the images, you can see the silk! He did some cool yoga poses to get that silk wrapped around him!
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A birthday gift from Mother Nature!-1989.jpg   A birthday gift from Mother Nature!-1992.jpg   A birthday gift from Mother Nature!-2002.jpg   A birthday gift from Mother Nature!-2004.jpg  
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Old 07-02-2010, 04:09 PM   #23
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:40 PM   #24
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Great pics! One of my two larger Spicebush Swallowtail cats...will probably change color and pupate soon.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:56 PM   #25
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Cool! I didn't realize they changed colors so quickly. My guy is now a chrysalis. It happened sometime Friday night. One minute his head/face was there, the next, it had fallen off! So weird!

Do you still have a cage around the bush?
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:12 PM   #26
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Congrats on the chrysallis! Actually, I have one cage around two plants...one plant is in the ground and the other one is in a pot. Not the best arrangement, but it'll have to do for now.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
Your philosophy brings up an interesting question, one that was also raised by Amelanchier in his thread on the picture tour. Both threads beg the question of whether a "hands off" policy in habitat and animal husbandry is wise. In this case, at a time when Lepidoptera numbers are way down due to human activity like habitat destruction, pollution and the introduction of alien species, is it still wise to "let nature be?"

Drawing in Amelanchier's point about not interfering with deer herds that are defoliating remaining habitat, is it wise to "let nature be?"

Seems to me in both cases the damage already done by humans demands we steer the course of nature a bit, knowing all the while that only carefully deliberated solutions should be advanced. A no-brainer example, in my view, being the culling of the herds. The artificial propagation of occasional egg clusters of disadvantaged butterfly and moth species, though not as cut and dry an issue as I find the deer problem, falls into the same general category.

What say you??

I think that the part that I wrestle with the most is how far do I go to try and make up for the damage caused by my species. I have long come to realize that I cannot make up for what everyone else is doing. I have to settle myself and my spirit with the knowledge that I am doing the best that I can for the planet with the area of land that I can control. I try to educate people, not with a stick, but by example. I have several people that live in my little town that do not know me, but they know my yarden. I don't go overboard, just casually mention that all the plants are native.

Recently, Mary wanted me to kill the spider mites that were on the milkweed and were killing the plants. I cannot do that. I am not qualified to sit in judgment and say that the mites should die. I will create the conditions that they do not favor, but I cannot bring myself to outright kill them. In my mind there is no grey area when it comes to life or death. All living things deserve to live. The things I do are for all the living things, all the insects, all the birds, all the mammals, all the reptiles. I do not say which one is better than the other since they all are links in the great chain of life that binds us all to each other. For me, knowing the dire situation of the monarch and other lepidoptera, just prompts me to plant more of their host plant. I will do what I can to help the population increase but not at the expense of some other population.
I hope that I answered your question.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:48 AM   #28
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I can appreciate your philosophy. I have one exception, though. I CAN bring myself to kill stinkbugs and stinkbug-type bugs with pinchers, just because of the amount of damage they do.

Spiders are probably my one fear, but as long as they don't look like they're thinking about dropping into my curls, I'll usually walk away and leave them alone.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:09 AM   #29
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It does answer my question, and I respect your position - thanks.

I guess I'm more of a medlar, and I'm aware that that too can be a problem. For me, however, the evidence points to a unique responsibility humans have in being the one species that uses advanced technology and rational thought. Surely these "gifts" have benefitted us, but they've also hurt us, especially in the ways we have damaged our habitat - earth.

We are able to tear down, but we are also able to build up. Examples abound. The California Condor was just about extinct when informed individuals focused resources upon bringing it back. Why, even the misguided gardeners who despoil newly purchased land with invasives and power mowers have succeeded in reclaiming the paradise they so ignorantly initially replaced. They saw the errors of their ways and took remedial action based on the lessons they had learned. (An example of which was beautifully told by Sara Stern's book NOAH'S GARDEN.)

To have the power as a species to detract and benefit but then use it only to detract doesn't appeal to me. We have repeatedly shown ourselves to be a bumbling, mistake-prone species; I don't see that changing soon. But we have the power to offset that if we learn from our mistakes and take the necessary remedial actions, which often demand, at least initially, favoring some and taking from others. Isn't this exactly what we do when we cut down the Multiflora Rose and dig out its roots???
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:12 AM   #30
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I agree with you 100%, Jack. We are the number 1 cause of the loss of species on this planet and we SHOULD do whatever we can to change that. I have always supported doing what is necessary to protect endangered species. When it comes to the yarden I do take more of a hands off approach though. I feel that I have established conditions that are favorable to wildlife and prefer to allow nature to decide who lives and who dies. I do help nature along in some aspects but I stop at the line of actually killing something on purpose. I did recently remove a poke berry (Phytolacca americana) because it was completely covered in spider mites. It pained me to do so since that is one of my favorite plants, but I do have a lot of it growing around the yarden. With the current weather conditions, the mites would have spread throughout the yarden quite quickly if I hadn't.

We, as a species, do have a responsibility to try and restore the natural habitats that we so foolishly destroy in the name of "progress" I just wish that there were more people on this planet that felt the same way as you do. If there were, it would be easier for the rest of us and all of our fellow inhabitants of this planet to survive.
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