Graffiti for Butterflies
August 3, 2008 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Graffiti for Butterflies [via mefi projects] Making signposts and rest areas to help monarch butterflies on their journey.
posted by NikitaNikita (16 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
very, very, neat! thanks...
posted by HuronBob at 7:18 PM on August 3, 2008

This is really cool, I hope it goes main-stream. Even if it doesn't work that well on the first few migrations, I bet the butterflies would adapt to it eventually.
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:24 PM on August 3, 2008

That's a fantastic idea. But how long until the council paints over them with grey and arrests the people doing it?
posted by twirlypen at 7:24 PM on August 3, 2008

Okay, I've got the same kind of mixed emotions as when I put out birdfood for the "desirable" species of pretty, singing birds that I want to have around the house, knowing that I'm artificially inflating their numbers and increasing their own dependency on mankind.
posted by yhbc at 7:29 PM on August 3, 2008

Well that's cool.
posted by nola at 7:31 PM on August 3, 2008

Nifty. twirlypen, it seems to me that you would only graffiti near your own milkweed plants, so it's likely you own the structure that's being painted on.
posted by Monochrome at 7:57 PM on August 3, 2008

yhbc, that may be true, but any creature that passes through or lives in a city is going to be dependent on mankind. Not to mention plenty of human activities decrease monarch population. Last I heard, GM corn which contains its own pesticide, for example, may cross-pollinate with milkweed and poison Monarch butterflies.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:12 PM on August 3, 2008

This is really cool. My three-year-old daughter loves butterflies, so we've been raising them this summer. They are really amazing creatures.
posted by Ostara at 8:20 PM on August 3, 2008

yhbc, if it made you feel better, you could even out the helpful graffiti with signposts around frog ponds.
Think of it as population offsetting.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:33 PM on August 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

I can't wait to show this to my daughter. We've been raising a caterpillar for the last few weeks. My daughter named him Amigo and we've been waiting patiently for him to emerge from his chrysalis any day now. She's really worried about him making his way and this will help ease her mind. Thanks NikitaNikita!
posted by jrossi4r at 9:03 PM on August 3, 2008

I wouldn't mind being overrun by monarchs.
posted by Knappster at 10:51 PM on August 3, 2008

Knappster, thats a photo of their destination, the Monarch Sanctuary in Mexico which just this year was added as a World Heritage Site. I'll actually be there this Christmas.
posted by vacapinta at 4:55 AM on August 4, 2008

knowing that I'm artificially inflating their numbers and increasing their own dependency on mankind.

You're artificially (or is it naturally? don't we naturally fuck things up?) decreasing their numbers if you build a house, plant a lawn, live in an apartment building, drive a car, use parking lots and streets, and so on. There's no harm in trying to offset all of that a little by helping them get past the concrete deserts that are in part your fault. The only way you can avoid affecting them is to get out entirely, and even then you''ll probably leave people and things behind that will affect their numbers. It's a sort of reverse butterfly effect.

But I wouldn't be so focused on a single species. Plant a window box or two (or a garden if you have one) for a variety of local species and don't pick anything -- let the plants seed and decay and feed everything that visits them.
posted by pracowity at 7:19 AM on August 4, 2008

Monarchs? There's more than one?!

*paging Brock Samson*
posted by Pronoiac at 11:17 AM on August 4, 2008

As a child I was always fascinated with the Monarch butterfly; I had always wanted to raise one in a jar but alas there was not even a milkweed plant anywhere near me. It has not been until the last two years of my life that I can find the monarch chrysalis.

This also reminds me of Moss Grafitti Eco friendly.
posted by NikolaTesla at 11:38 AM on August 4, 2008

If you haven't seen it, check out this guy's caterpillar page. And for more background background on this project, check out his bar mitzvah and 7th grade science fair.
posted by ezola at 1:29 PM on August 4, 2008

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