Zebra Longwing devastates Pasion vine.

Heliconius charithoniaThe Zebra Longwing butterfly is a warm weather insect that is found mostly from Florida, south into Central and S. America. However they have been spotted as far north as Nebraska, crazy! I’ve been to Nebraska and it gets cold there even in July! The Zebra Longwing butterfly relies on passion flower, and only the passion flower for its life to continue. They remember when and where a plant is found, and they will return generation after generation confident that the plant will be there for food for its babies, the caterpillars.Every year here in Florida we look forward to the onslaught of spiney, white and orange crawling caterpillars. They will eventually bring the butterfly to life. Or is it that I wait for the butterfly to bring the caterpillars? You know; which came first the egg or the chicken? My wife loves her butterflies and we encourage them with plants we know they are attracted to.The passion vine, passion flower, or scientifically known as Passiflora attracts the mature longwing butterfly, and is the host plant for this butterfly’s larvae. Meaning that this specific butterfly only lays eggs on this specific plant. And the caterpillars only eat the passion flower leaves.
Every year our plant gets bushy to the point that the trellis is ready to snap under the weight of the leaves. When the vine is allowed to grow it multiplies to gargantuan heights. Maybe exaggerating a little, however it is a very prolific grower.
Somehow nature knows that the vine is ready for an invasion, and then… here comes the voracious appetite of the Zebra caterpillar. Within 2 months or less, all of the leaves are decimated, and the plant looks like it is dead.Once the leaves are gone and the chrysalis have transformed into sexy black and yellow butterflies, the passion vine begins its life anew. Within just a few days after being devoured, small signs of life peak out from the dead looking plant. Before you know it, the vine will be overflowing with success, and then the process starts over.The vine never gives up and just keeps bouncing back. Just like us silly humans need to do. This natural life cycle of insect, and plants is a great demonstration for your life. The vine never gives up. As life challenges it by caterpillars eating all its leaves, passion vine saves just enough gas in its tank to begin its life anew.We are not that different from nature. As a matter of fact, we are nature, so it makes sense that we act and respond in similar ways. When your life seems over, remember the passion vine who bounces back from certain death every year.
You too will bounce back, and begin living again. You always have just enough gas in your tank to start over, it’s nature’s way. Now it is your choice how you use that gas to fuel your life. You just have to decide to get up and start growing again.With just a little positive momentum and some fresh natural nutrients, you will come back strong, just like Passiflora.
With a little faith in yourself you will be confident to transform into a new you. Just like the Zebra Longwing butterfly having faith that a plant will be waiting for its return every year, with faith you will know that the tools that you need to transform will also be there when you need them. With a little belief you will find a way to transform into the perfect you. Then with this knowledge you can begin your journey to a new happier, perfect you.

Author: Stephen T. Radentz

     In 2004, having fallen and fractured my spine, I began a slow death spiral as an addict to legal opioids. For the next eight years, I battled depression and stomach ulcers. At the end of every month, I would face withdrawal symptoms, as well as the fear of running out of medication.      At one point, I was prescribed 1080 total pills every month! More than half were opioids, while the rest were prescribed to fix the problems opium was causing.      In 2012, I was rushed to the emergency room with bleeding ulcers. This happened again in 2014. I had lost almost 40 pounds during this time period. I was killing myself.      One night at the end of the month in 2014, I was facing imminent withdrawal sickness. Let me tell you: withdrawal sucks! I was not eligible for a refill but I needed the drugs. I grabbed a gun and went to a nearby pharmacy. I sat outside that store for about an hour. Finally, I decided that the best thing I could do would be to break away from the addictive drugs. I went home, went through some withdrawal sickness, and started planning my strategy.      It took me another two years to successfully get free. Eleven years after beginning my journey with opioids, I was able to beat the addiction through the use of medical marijuana, changing to a mostly natural-food diet, focusing on positivity and gratefulness, and getting outside in nature. I have been pharmaceutical free since 2016      Over several years of extensive research, I learned that medical marijuana could help with eliminating opioid addiction while reducing withdrawal symptoms and providing natural pain relief. I discovered that there was proven science backing up marijuana as medicine. I researched cannabis and hemp: their uses, benefits, and side effects, and how cannabinoids help the human body create homeostasis naturally, without side effects, addiction, or overdose issues.       As a master grower, I was aware of plant nutrient needs, and I realized that they are very similar to human nutrient needs. I began researching fruits, vegetables, and herbs extensively. Learning that nature provides all the nutrients a body needs. Consuming a variety of organic foods everyday will keep your body in a perfect state to fight off disease. As my body healed I was able to focus on my mind as well. You must; get your body right, to get your mind right, to get your life right.       I have also studied many current and historical positive thought mentors. Learning that, "we are what we think we are", as well as negative thoughts attract negative things, and positive thoughts attract positive outcomes.       I combined all of this knowledge to devise my theory on; The Three Life Centers of the body. Keeping these three areas balanced will keep your life balanced.      Medical marijuana helped reduce my drug withdrawal symptoms, enabling me to eliminate opioids, and I credit it with saving my life..      Because of my success eating and medicating naturally, maintaining positivity and gratitude, while embracing nature, I decided that I wanted to help educate others, and assist them with their own health and life issues.      I've been an advocate for medical marijuana legalization since 2014. I have lobbied senators, traveled statewide to speak on behalf of the cannabis community, and appeared in local forums, to share my journey and bring people's awareness to the benefits of medical marijuana, natural dieting, and positivity.       With this website, my goal is to dispel some myths, while educating you on a plant that has numerous health benefits (cannabis). Simplify your diet to achieve balance and good health through nature. Help you to create an environment of positivity and gratitude, and encourage you to get outside experience nature. I will even share some hidden gardening tips. 

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