Leaves Everywhere

In Minneapolis we are covered with fallen leaves. It is so important that we keep
leaves out of our streets and storm drains to prevent run off that pollutes our lakes and creeks.

Did you know that just five bags of leaves and organic debris from streets and sidewalks can contain one pound of phosphorus? Over time, this can lead to the growth of hundreds of pounds of algae.
Get out and sweep your street and clean those storm drains, and never put leaves or grass clippings into the street.

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Invasive Plants of Minnesota and Wisconsin

There is much conversation about invasives.  Below are lists of Minnesota and Wisconsin invasive plants.

Don’t allow invasive plants to flourish in your yard. Never purchase them or bring them into your yard, and please refrain from using chemicals on them. Pull them out and keep them from seeding.
Many invasive plants alter the soil so natives can’t grow, and crowd out the native plants
You will be surprised at some of the plants that are invasive. Below are links to the invasive plants of Wisconsin and Minnesota:
Minnesota invasive plants:
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/index.html
Wisconsin Invasive plants:
http://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/fr/FR0464.p

“Invasive plants or weeds continue to spread across the continent. Consequently, Minnesota is fast becoming a melting pot of weed species. Many of these plants were accidentally introduced to our landscape, but some have been purposefully imported.” Bonnie Harper-Lore

Recycling Plastic is a Win-Win

When you throw a plastic bottle in the trash, what do you think happens to it? These bottles do not dissolve and will be on our planet forever!! The garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is broken pieces of plastic that harms sea life, and probably poisons us. According to the MPCA, Minnesota recycles only 25% of its plastic bottles. Why individuals still throw recyclables in the trash is beyond comprehension, especially when most of us just need to haul recyclables out to our curb a few times a month. As responsible citizens of our earth we must do better, and communities need to install recycle containers beside the trash containers like Duluth has done!
An incentive: By recycling your bottles and cans you help generate needed funds for local and state governments. You help create materials that can be made into new products which stimulates manufacturing jobs. Using recyclables instead of raw materials can reduces costs for manufacturers, and then lower costs for you, a win-win situation!
First, reduce your waste( reusable containers), but then recycle everything you can!

Too many invasives

Tansy
Tansy (Photo credit: InAweofGod’sCreation)

Walking a trail in Duluth, I struggled to find native plants. The very invasive Tansys, thistles and Bird’s-foote Trefoil dominated. Their bright yellow colors were pleasant, but we only saw one frog and no butterflies, bees or birds which seemed unusual for a magnificent August day.  And Purple Loosestrife is making a comeback growing along roadways.

Yes, we lived it!

From Metrologist Paul Douglas
July 2012: Hottest Month In U.S. History. Accurate weather records go back to the late 1800s. Since then there has never been a month as hot as July, 2012. Details from NOAA: “According to NOAA scientists, the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. during July was 77.6 F, 3.3 F above the 20th century average, marking the hottest July and hottest month on record for the nation. The previous warmest July for the nation was July 1936, when the average U.S. temperature was 77.4 F. The warmest July temperatures contributed to a record-warm first 7 months of the year, and the warmest 12-month period the nation has experienced since record-keeping began in 1895. Just looking at the map I was struck with the thought that this gives new meaning to “red states”.

Everyday appreciating our beautiful earth, And working for healthy communities through less chemicals, less waste, And more fun!

First week of August on the big lake, 2012

A north wind has brought a change in the weather and I hope a cooling of the earth. Fox cubs, fawns, baby chickadees, redstart and song sparrows are demanding of their moms for food.  A sphinx (hawk) moth zips around entertaining me, and a lone black bear saunters through. Hummingbirds are enjoying the flowers as much as their feeder and seem to be everywhere. Goldenrod and wide leaf asters are in full bloom, and I learned the Northern Crescent Butterfly.  Lake Superior is finally blue again after the heavy June rain.

Sphinx moth on snap dragon
A Fritillary on Menardia

July 22,

At 5:30 AM it is very noisy outside with lots of running. A blossoming buck is playing with my local fawns.  Next the buck turns to their mother and goes into a mating dance routine with her–Spectacular!

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July 15,

Just chased the fawns away from my cone flowers. A large owl has hunted in our yard all morning causing a ruckus of our nesting and local birds. Earlier a flicker mom was feeding her babies as we had an outside breakfast on our deck overlooking Lake Superior.  We continue to plant new native and butterfly host plants to our yard.

July 14,

A great article on good plants for pollinators:

http://www.ecosystemgardening.com/top-10-herbaceous-plants-to-attract-wildlife-to-your-ecosystem-garden.html