RD April Letters 2018


Wild for Monarchs
RD: I have just finished reading the Jan.-Feb. 2018 issue and wanted to comment on Ms. Obee Benjamin’s observation about Monarchs in Dartmouth, (Letters to RD, page 12). I am happy to let you know that Monarchs are alive and well here on our property in the Eastern Passage-Cow Bay area.  
    I planted eight milkweed plants three years ago, and just last summer noticed some Monarchs flying around the plants. I grabbed my camera and like a little kid went running over to get some pictures. As I was looking around, I discovered four caterpillars on the milkweed. I haven’t seen a Monarch caterpillar since I was a kid growing up on the Miramichi. After a few days, they disappeared – but then later that week, three more showed up. I actually had a chance to see one of them shed its skin as it developed. I have attached a picture of one of the caterpillars and a Monarch. 
    Here on our property, we do not use any chemicals or pesticides, and actually have left a 20-foot strip of our lawn to go wild. Any plants I remove from the flowerbeds I place here, along with the milkweed. It has proven to be an oasis for butterflies and birds. If you do plant milkweed on your property, it needs to be planted in a group; according to research, the Monarchs discover it visually. Another plant you can try is Joe Pye, from which the Monarchs will take the nectar but still need to lay the eggs on milkweed.
Sandy Hickey
Eastern Passage, N.S.

Geo-location for the locals
RD: Rural Delivery is a great magazine, don’t change anything. But how about a “red dot” (geographical) locator point of source of farm stories so we can learn a bit of geography, since some places are very small on population or historical memory.
M.L. Patterson
Port Williams, N.S. 

(That’s an interesting suggestion. Kind of like that upstart magazine with the yellow border around the cover . . . what’s it called again? Oh yeah, National Geographic. They’re big on maps. Many of us are so familiar with our little corner of the world, we can hardly believe others are entirely unacquainted with the area. When you’re lost, a helpful local person can always be relied upon to provide incomprehensible directions! Anyways, the point is duly noted, and we will at least make an effort to provide better geographical clues. DL)

DVD delivery delights
RD: Just read and thoroughly enjoyed your recent editorial (“Small ruminants, great drama,” RD Jan.-Feb., page 6). You actually provided an excellent description of “Far from the Madding Crowd,” which recalled the movie for me in vivid detail…also appreciate the “Rams,” (“Hrútar”) recommendation. I will check it out. 
    Like you, I used to rely on a return-mail DVD service, but yes, that’s over. I now visit Black Dog Video (blackdogvideo.bc.ca), which has an excellent selection – five older DVDs for a week for just $10. Quality and bargains need not be mutually exclusive.
D.D. Kugler
Vancouver, B.C.