Autumnal Exquinox

The trees turn a little bit red/orange every day
The trees turn a little  more red/orange every day

There are many warm wonderful things about every season!

Superior Views/ Autumnal equinox
Two adult eagles talk and screech most of the day, and we still hear the unique calls of the loons and sandhill cranes.

The last monarch nectars on milkweed.
The last monarch nectars on milkweed.

Fall is a magnificent season, but why does it make all us northerners just a little sad? There are too many good byes. Our days have become noticeable shorter stimulating many of the changes we see.
Good-bye to many of the things I love until next spring:

Good bye to the magnificent monarch butterflies as they journey south to Mexico.

Good-bye to the ruby-throat hummingbirds that bring such energetic joy,and the song birds that serenade me daily.

Good-bye to the bright pollinator plants that bring in butterflies and bees and birds to our yard.
Good-bye to the lush green forests that surround Lake Superior and the north country, and to wonderful outdoor meals on the banks of the big lake.

And it is sad to see our long long days of light disappear into darkness.  Here is the Gershwin song Summertime to get you to the next equinox on March 20-21, 2016:

This is well-written blog about autumn by a young woman from Canada:

Fall Gardening is for the Birds

Dried up cone flowers are a gift to the birds but not to the human eye. I took this picture in July
Dried up cone flowers are a gift to the birds. I took this picture in July

As I write this the goldfinch are eating seeds from dried up purple cone flowers, and hummingbirds are still flitting around for nectar.  Below is an excellent article on fall gardening by writer Val Cunningham.  My suggestions follow.

“As they fly around your neighborhood, birds won’t be attracted by gardens with flower stalks cut neatly to the ground and plant debris raked up and removed.” V Cunningham .

My additional suggestions for fall gardening are:
*Pull out all the invasive and bad plants
*Plan for next year. What worked and what didn’t work? How can you add more native

Hummingbirds and bees love this red menardia nardia
Hummingbirds and bees love this red

plants ?  (My favorites are milkweed, Liatris, cone flowers, bee balm  hyssop, wild geranium and asters)
*Plan where you can add a rain garden next year to capture the rain from your house, driveway or yard.

011Birds love driveways with seeds and leaves, but please keep our waterways clean by sweeping sidewalks, driveways and street from leaves and debris.


An Amazing Story of Migration

Monarchs love liatitis (blazing star)
Monarchs love Liatris (blazing star). They need nectar sources as they migrate
Monarch eggs hatch into caterpillars
Monarch eggs hatch into caterpillars, then into a chrysalis. 3 or 4 times in a summer this happens!
chrysallis turns into a monarch
chrysalis turns into a monarch butterfly. 3 or 4 times as they come north.

When I learned about native plants and pollinators my gardening focus completely changed. By planting milkweed, liatris, purple cone flowers and many others, the butterflies, and other pollinators come to my yard giving us enormous enjoyment, but now in September these incredible monarchs start their journey to Mexico. These butterflies are the 4th generation of the monarchs(Their great-grand parents) that traveled south last fall.
Fascinating things I have just learned about monarch butterflies:
** These August/September monarchs are the longest lived, Maybe living 6 to 9 months. They do not lay eggs until early next spring when they have returned to Texas from Mexico
** They can fly 265 miles a day to their resting winter ground in Mexico, about 2500 miles.
** After resting for a few months they head back from Mexico to Texas where they finally lay their eggs on milkweed, and the next generation begins. Each new crop of monarchs lays eggs and continues the migration back to Missouri/Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa and Canada.

All the chemicals we use have destroyed monarch habitat! What are you doing to make sure they survive?

I am Thankful for California!

Round up kills the plants bees and butterflies love!
Round up kills the plants bees and butterflies love!

A Big Reason to be Thankful for California!

I was shopping for a vegetable peeler the other day.  The label said, “This product is known to cause cancer according to the California EPA. Be sure you wash your hands after use” Yikes, who would buy such a product?  Why would a company manufacture such a product?  Below is more watchdog work by California’s EPA:

Big news! California EPA Moves to Label Monsanto’s Roundup ‘Carcinogenic’ #BanRoundup

In a first for the country, California’s Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) has issued plans to list glyphosate—the toxic active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide—as known to cause cancer.


Superior Views, August 2015

Life on Lake Superior

Hummingbirds and bees love this garden on Lake Superior(background lake)
Hummingbirds and bees love this garden on Lake Superior

Bee balm, hyssop, golden rod, wide leaf aster, cardinal-flower and purple cone flower bring joy!

Bees love golden rod and it is everywhere.
Bees love golden rod and it is everywhere.
The sun sets on August
The sun sets on August

Eagles screech and talk to me as I work in my yard. Hummingbirds are everywhere, and some of the migrating birds crossing the lake are the Nashville Warbler, thrushes, and white throated sparrow.