Let's hear it for the blues

A million thanks for your fine article on our great American music, ``The Blues'' [Aug. 30]. A splendid synopsis! The blues, as an art form, is bristling with new life. As long as man and woman walk the earth, the blues will never die! Gary Erwin, Producer `Blues in the Night' South Carolina Educational Television Mount Pleasant, S.C.

As a naturalist-writer and inveterate observer of milkweed patches for 14 years, I would like to correct the impression made in the article, ``Monarchs and milkweed in midsummer'' Aug. 1. The author states, ``Bees are not welcome'' on milkweed flowers because milkweed ``is exclusively the butterflies' preserve. (Those that push a welcome are likely to get their feet tangled up in the pollen masses or fissures of the flower's corona).'' According to an article in Scientific American (September 1985), milkweed is chiefly pollinated by bumblebees, not butterflies. ``Bumblebees,'' Morse discovered, ``usually outnumber them [butterflies] at milkweed plants by a ratio of 10 or 20 to 1.''

The legend that bees are often trapped and die with a foot caught in a milkweed blossom has been perpetuated by nature writers. I have observed this phenomenon once. It was the smaller, lighter Italian honeybee that were caught. Since milkweed is a native plant and the honeybees are foreigners, it is no wonder that neither has evolved to accommodate the other. Marcia Bonta Tyrone, Pa.

I enjoyed the Home Forum page articles on ``Uniquity'' and the ``Little White Farmhouse not far from the road,'' by John Gould, as well as the piece on ``Shakesp.,'' by Rushworth Kidder. Those gentle strolls through the ``humanities'' are a welcome diversion from the media reflected ``inhumanities'' bombarding our daily walk. Chloe Worley Worthington, Ohio Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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