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.
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”.
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.
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!
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.
A great article on good plants for pollinators: