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

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

Pollinator Friendly Towns Initiative:  You can view Maraleen’s 11 minute presentation to the Town Board of Olive regarding this Initiative on Jan. 14, 2014 here or from YouTube:

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

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

Please visit www.pollinatorfriendlytowns.org.   If your town is not yet listed, please contact us 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.


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:

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