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

Butterfly/Pollinator Garden Tours in Shokan, N.Y. will continue next summer; however; this winter you can witness millions of monarchs in Mexico.

 Take the award winning eco-educational Spirit of Butterflies Tour to the Majesty of Monarchs in Mexico for an extraordinary life experience. The season is from November 2016 through mid-March 2017

For more information please click on The Butterfly Tour page



Background: In 2014, at Maraleen Manos-Jones’ urging, the town of Olive Board voted to protect pollinators. (please see video below of her presentation to the board)

In 2015,  about thirty Olive 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 2015. Of those, 150 are from the town of Olive. The DEP said they would no long spray roads in Olive with an herbicide containing glyphosate and would experiment with non-toxic alternatives.

In May 2016, representatives from the NYCDEP returned to our town meeting, giving us a progress report on their evolving efforts to protect pollinators.  They will be mowing only once in October, thus allowing caterpillars and other beneficial insects to complete their life cycles.

They will no longer use sprays containing glyphosate.  They will only selectively use a non-toxic herbicide made of two soil bacterium, to judiciously target problem areas that obstruct sight lines.

What started in Olive has rippled out.  Now we need to petition New York State not to spray any of the roads in the whole state with herbicides, but instead use best roadside management practices.  This would be another major step in protecting our pollinators.

You too can add your voice so that other communities can emulate Olive and New York State can also finally stop the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides along all our roads.  Please 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 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.

♣ 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