The Spirit of Butterflies: Myth, Magic, and Art

a beautiful and inspiring book
on the significance of the
butterfly in mythology, religion,
superstition, literature, and the arts
written by
Maraleen Manos-Jones
published by
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
A butterfly book: The Spirit of Butterflies: Myth, Magic and Art

The Spirit of Butterflies Tours Resume

The monarch butterflies have returned to Mexico in greater numbers this year than the past few years and the award winning Spirit of Butterflies Tours resume as well.

With Jose Luis Alvarez, who speaks Spanish, French and English, as your guide, you will experience the heart and soul of Mexico. Be prepared for an extraordinary life experience starting out in the renovated 350-year-old hacienda La Cruz with Jose Luis as your host.

Jose Luis is also a forester who has planted millions of trees in and around the monarch sanctuaries. Part of the proceeds from the tours helps in this effort.

For more information, please contact Maraleen Manos-Jones, who coordinates the tours: mmjbutterfly@hvc.rr.com or tel: 845-657-8073 and visit The Butterfly Tour tab on the right for details

PROGRESS IS BEING MADE, INCH BY INCH, GARDEN BY GARDEN AND COMMUNITY BY COMMUNITY:  On May 12th, 2015 at the Olive Town Board’s monthly meeting we learned that the agencies responsible for spraying along our roads and waterways heard our concerns:  THE TOWN OF OLIVE WILL NOT BE SPRAYED THIS SUMMER AND WE HOPE FOREVERMORE.

About thirty citizens attended the meeting as well as representatives from NYCDEP, DEC, and Bureau of Water Supply as well as a representative of Congressman Cahill.   Over 1,000 people have signed the petition as of mid-May. Of those, 150 are from the town of Olive.

You too can add your voice so that other communities can emulate Olive and New York State can change.  sign the petition:  http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-spraying-pesticides?source=c.em.mt&r_by=1693432

Our once ubiquitous monarch butterfly is on the precipice of disappearing. There are many contributing factors to this including widespread use of pesticides and herbicides by Big Agriculture and by individuals around their homes, loss of habitat, and climate change.   It will take a concerted effort by individuals, communities, schools, libraries, towns, farmers, small and large corporations, cities, states and the federal government to participate in saving not only the monarchs, but all our pollinators.  Without our pollinators we will lose at least half of our favorite food.

Every summer for the past thirty years, New York State has sprayed an herbicide containing glyphosate along our roadways, reservoirs and waterways.  There are alternative and less expensive ways to address the issue of visible guardrails. The Tollway Authority of the state of Illinois is saving money by planting milkweed and wildflowers along its roads and working with each community along the way.

I started a petition on move.on.org to stop New York State from once again spraying along all our roads this summer:  Please sign it.  Please share it.   Thank you.


There is much information about the effects of glyphosate. I will be adding links to reports on this website.  The World Health Organization just released a study indicating that this herbicide is a probable carcinogen.  Please share with neighbors and friends.  We’ve got to stop poisoning our planet.

www.spiritofbutterflies.com and www.pollinatorfriendlytowns.org


Maraleen’s Journey with a Monarch Butterfly on Southwest Airlines.
Click here for more info.

Maraleen’s “Protect our Pollinators” on Saugerties Lighthouse TV23

Pollinator Friendly Towns Initiative:  On January 14th, 2014, Maraleen gave an 11 minute presentation to the Town Board.  Click here for more info.

Maraleen Manos-Jones offers tours of her Butterfly Gardens in Shokan, New York every summer.  Here are two videos from her 2013 summer tour.  Click here for more info.

Flight of the Monarch

I am extraordinarily pleased that this fairytale journey of me and my butterfly traveling from Albany, N.Y. to San Antonio, Texas on November 5th, 2012 on Southwest Airlines to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens was widely reported on t.v. and in the press, including NPR, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and at least 30 pages of Google listings. There are also great photos in the San Antonio Express and The Times Union newspapers. Please check them out by clicking here:

♣ Back to Videos

Pollinator Friendly Towns Initiative

Please visit www.pollinatorfriendlytowns.org.   If you have not yet added your name, just email me:  mmjbutterfly@gmail.com.  I have still to enter each name individually. If your town is not yet listed, please contact me to add your town, wherever it is.  The bees, the butterflies and all pollinators thank you.  mmjbutterfly@gmail.com

Olive became a Pollinator Friendly Town on February 11, 2014, the first in the state and nation. Shandaken became the second on April 7th, 2014. The Initiative is now pending with other towns boards.  Either you as an individual or your organization or school or community garden can sign the pledge even before it is brought in front of your town Board.  Stating name, town, county, and state/country, just email mmjbutterfly@gmail.com

This is the pledge we are asking people to sign since a world without bees is a world without food, and a world without butterflies is a world without hope:

We the people of the town of {…Your Town…}pledge to protect our pollinators as follows:

♦  We pledge not to use herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides

♦  We pledge to plant milkweed, and/or not cut milkweed, (unless necessary for farmers and livestock) since it is the only plant on which monarch butterflies can lay their eggs and a plant that supports many other species.

We pledge to plant some native flowers, shrubs and/or trees.

We pledge not to plant GMO crops

There are many reasons for the decline of monarchs and bees, and songbirds, and the multitude of other fauna and flora that I will briefly outline here:

–  widespread use of pesticides and toxins on the U.S.’s 33 million acres of lawns is literally killing all living creatures and seeping into our water systems. In the U.S. every year 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on lawns, which translates to more pesticides per acre than used by Big Ag, which is to say a lot.  Lawns are helping to make 85% of all species extinct besides being a threat to human health since pesticides contain neuro- disruptors.  Pesticides are now found in 93% of children aged 3 to 13 years old and 96% of all fish have pesticide residue.

-  GMO crops call for the widespread use of pesticides

– loss of habitats:  over 2 millions acres of wildlife habitat is lost in the U.S. every year.  What does this mean?  New housing developments cut down trees, create lawns and use non-native plantings that do not support local species.  Of course, the same is true for malls and roadways. Conscientious development can work with nature rather than obliterate all life around it.

–  We all need to address the issue of mowing of roadways just as the monarchs are laying their eggs on milkweed.

You can now take a tour of my butterfly gardens from the comfort and warmth of your own home or come in person during the summer.   Enjoy. Thank you

♣ Back to Videos

Butterfly Garden Tours

Maraleen Manos-Jones offers tours of her Butterfly Gardens in Shokan, New York every summer.  The tours are a two hour experience.  The dates for summer 2015 garden tours are Sunday July 19th and Sunday August 9th.  There will be two tours on each date:              10 a.m. until noon  and   4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The first hour is a guided garden walk, include a walk in a labyrinth. The second part takes place in the studio my husband built to sip iced tea from the gardens, nibble on butterfly cookies, and view Maraleen and her husband Steve’s art.  Sit back, relax and listen to an informative talk by Maraleen accompanied by power point images for an hour. Learn about how you can transform not only your own garden, but help save all our pollinators and learn about  The Pollinator Friendly Towns Initiative.

Suggested Donation: $10.

Make reservations early, these events fill up quickly. tel: 845-657-8073 or emailmmjbutterfly@hvc.rr.com

Maraleen is also available to give private tours for your group of 10 adults or children.  Contact Maraleen for more details.

Maraleen is available as a Butterfly Garden Consultant. Please contact her at 845-657-8073 or mmjbutterfly@hvc.rr.com

Butterfly gardening not only adds immense beauty, serenity and joy to your life, it is vital in helping to save many species of butterflies, bees, birds and supports the great tapestry of life. Butterfly habitats are disappearing at an enormous rate, at least 2.3 million acres a year. In addition to habitat loss, the use of pesticides and herbicides kills caterpillars and butterflies.

♣ Back to Videos

After gardening for forty years, Maraleen graduated as a Master Gardener in February 2013,  studying with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County.

Monarchs In Crisis:  Maraleen participated on a panel at the Princeton Library sponsored by the Sierra Club on October 23, 2014.  We all have a part to play in protecting our pollinators.   Time is of the essence.  We have lost 90% of the monarch population in North America over the last twenty years.  Please read the informational pages and watch the videos on this website and on www.pollinatorfriendlytowns.org website.  Thank you.

To listen to Where Have All the Monarchs Gone and What We Can Do About It, Maraleen’s 11/03/13 interview with Sally Spillane on
The Gardening Show, WKZE, 98.1, click this link:

Maraleen Interview