This ancient responsibility is more important than ever, and it is also new and exciting. We continue to learn new ways of best caring for this great gift which has been entrusted to us.
We know many species are endangered, while we continue to enjoy the earth’s great beauty. We know about saving energy, conserving fresh water, pollution, and recycling, but what else?
Loons. Bees. Monarchs.
“One lead fishing sinker can poison a loon.”
This is from the Mn. Dept. of Natural Resources Website article ‘Get the Lead Out:’
“Loons routinely swallow pea-size pebbles on the bottom of lakes. The pebbles pass to the stomach and help in digestion, like grit in the stomach of a chicken. When fishing sinkers are lost during fishing and drop to the bottom of the lake, they can be picked up by loons or by waterfowl like ringneck ducks and trumpeter swans. Some loons also swallow fishing jigs when they mistake them for minnows.” - (Mn. Dept. of Natural Resources website “Get the Lead Out.”
It’s pretty easy to ask for non-lead sinkers when buying fishing tackle. Sinkers can be made from tin, steel, and many other materials. I never have trouble finding them. If they aren’t there, ask. When enough people ask, they’ll want to sell them.
Bees do a lot more than just give us honey. Bees pollinate about one third of all of the world’s crops, and over 90% of all wild plants. Colony Collapse Disorder is affecting bees across the world. Bees are threatened with extinction both because of pesticides (Round-up is one), and because of lack of flowers that provide nectar.
The first, most important action, is to not buy pesticides. The earth doesn’t need the poison. Aside from that, bees need the flowering ‘weeds.’ Dandelions and clover both are major sources of nectar for local bees!
The Honeybee Conservancy also suggests planting flowers that bloom throughout the season, so that bees have a constant source of food. Bee favorites, according to season include:
Spring: crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and lilac
Summer: Bee balm, cosmos, Echinacea, snapdragons, foxglove and hosta
Fall: zinnias, sedum, asters, goldenrod, and marigolds
The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico has declined 90% in twenty years. Again, pesticides are the major cause. Along with killing unwanted plants for farming, they have also killed most of the flowering plants monarchs need to survive. Milkweed is one of the most basic necessities for monarchs, but other flowers with good nectar help too. Many of the same flowers that we could plant for bees will also help monarchs.
As we begin to relax and enjoy the nature that God has given us, let’s care for it very, very well.
As Max Lucado, a Christian author and preacher said, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”