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

Spring 2018:  You can help the New York State Department of Transportation, NYSDOT, protect pollinators.

1 – Identify patches of milkweed, the sole host plant for monarch caterpillars, along stretches of state roads by noting the numbers on little green signs along the road.  Email that information to Ms. Manos-Jones, mmjbutterfly@hvc.rr.com, who will compile it for the NYSDOT. Signs can be provided so that the milkweed will not be mowed.

2 – Individuals or groups can adopt an intersection, or a stretch of state road, to create and maintain a pollinator pathway. The NYSDOT will provide a sign, just as it does for groups or businesses that adopt a stretch of road for litter removal.  Contact Maraleen for more information.

There have been more butterflies, bees, and other pollinators in Ulster County this past season than in many years because of the efforts of individuals and groups creating butterfly/pollinator gardens, and less spraying of our roads.

Thank you for doing your part in making our planet pollinator friendly. 

The Environmental Conservation Commission of Marbletown has been inspired to create Butterfly/Pollinator Gardens by their Town Hall.  On August 26, 2017,  there will be a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. I am honored that the gardens are dedicated to me.  See Marbletown Garden page for more information.

 Butterfly/Pollinator Garden Tours in Shokan, N.Y.  If you didn’t make it to a garden tour this year, I hope to see you next season.                                             For a preview or if you cannot come to a tour, please take a walk in my gardens from the comfort of your own home, click on Parts I and II of the Butterfly Garden Tour videos below.

There is an abundance of milkweed this year, 2017. On June 12th, I saw my first monarch of the season ovipositing eggs on the milkweeds. She interspersed her egg laying with supping nectar from wild phlox.  This is a good sign since for the past few years I hadn’t seen monarchs here until mid-August.   Got milkweed? 

Maraleen released 60 Late Monarch Butterflies at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens on Halloween, October 31st 2016: for details and photos, check out the page Late Monarch Release and view the video of my first mission releasing a late monarch in San Antonio below.

During the winter months you can witness millions of monarchs in Mexico. For more information please click on The Butterfly Tour page



You can add your name to a petition that I started urging  New York State to stop  spraying herbicides along all our roads:  Please sign it.  Please share it.   Thank you.



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:

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Pollinator Friendly Towns Initiative

Please click on the Pollinator Friendly Towns page on the right for more information and/or 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

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

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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 2016 garden tours are Sundays July 24th, August 7th and Auigust 21st.

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.

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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