Sherman Morss shares the following article from World Wildlife Magazine. He has a personal connection with Kevin Pourier, who participates in the Native American exhibits at the PEM. Check out Kevin’s gorgeous art and website here: Buffalo Horn Artforms. Thanks so much to Sherman!
Monarch Heroes: Across the Country People are Taking Action for Monarchs
In the Lakota language, plants and animals are known as Wamakaska—“Sacred Beings of the Earth”—and the Lakota People believe that these species came before us to teach humans how to live. For Oglala Lakota artist Kevin Pourier, no species has been more influential than the monarch butterfly. Pourier first became aware of the power and beauty of these insects during a traditional ceremony. The connection grew deeper when he saw a photo of Sitting Bull from the late 1800s, and noticed a monarch wing tucked into the famed Lakota leader’s hatband. Today, Pourier honors these iconic butterflies through his internationally renowned artwork. Using sustainably harvested bison horns, Pourier creates monarch-themed sculptures that both modernize a traditional Lakota art form and encourage others to cherish the monarch butterfly.
Marshall Field became a conservationist the day he read Rachel Carson’s environmental clarion call,Silent Spring. The fifth-generation businessman and philanthropist joined WWF’s Board of Directors in 1973 and has been a stalwart champion of wildlife ever since. For years, Field focused on supporting efforts to save tigers, but his goals shifted when he heard of the rapidly disappearing monarch butterfly. He visited the insect population’s winter roosting grounds in Mexico, years before the population hit its 2013 nadir. “You had to yell to be heard over the sound of the butterflies beating their wings,” he recalls. The experience captivated him. “I think their migration is among the most mysterious natural phenomena there are,” says Field. “And if I’m interested in something, I’m going to get as many other people as I can interested, too.”
SISTER KATHLEEN STORMS
When Sister Kathleen Storms became director of the 200-acre Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat in Wheatland, Iowa, she saw few butterflies or bees on the grounds. Corn and soy crops covered the neighboring lands around the retreat; the region’s pollinator habitat was largely gone. Storms said she wanted to replant native flora, not only “for beauty, but also for the benefits they provide.” In fact, Our Lady of the Prairie has used the Conservation Reserve Program for the past two decades to secure natural spaces that make room “for quiet reflection.” Having grown up on a chemical-free dairy farm in Minnesota, Storms says she’s devoted to sustainable living, “to preserve this wonderful gift of creation, especially as we face climate change.”
Monarch Butterflies Awakening in the Morning Light, Gloucester