Monday, December 29, 2008

A sad story

The following news article from the New Zealand Herald reminds me of my late Aunt A. She was a teacher and she lived in a small town where the people knew her as Mrs. Teacher. She told us when she goes marketing, she would buy brinjals that have worms. She says those beautiful fruits or veges have been sprayed with harmful pesticides and if they killed the pests, they would kill us too. She would rather cut away those holey parts where the worm has eaten.

In New Zealand, parents and children buy swan plants to encourage monarch butterflies. (See My post on scarfs). I wanted to grow some in school, and how disappointed the kids will be when I tell them we can't grow them.

How insidious the garden centre operators are. They spray the plant to make them sturdy looking, kids grow them in anticipation of attracting the butterflies and the larvas die because they are poisoned.

In Singapore, my butterflies come to my lime trees and my kids at home and in school enjoy seeing the butterflies grow. Then we sing Jim Ed Brown's song,

"Butterfly, My butterfly, wait for me don't fly away."

Plants pose risk for butterflies NZ Herald
5:00AM Tuesday Dec 30, 2008

Butterfly lovers are being urged to be careful when buying swan plants (milkweed) from garden centres.

Plants affected with pesticide residue will kill the caterpillars that eventually turn into monarch butterflies.

"Every year it happens," said Jacqui Knight, secretary of the Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust.

"People are desperately looking for food for their monarch caterpillars, and end up buying plants affected with pesticide residue. We hear from adults and children distraught to see their caterpillars dying."

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