Searching For More Diversity

This is a week to appreciate and celebrate our pollinators. In my yard there are many baby monarch caterpillars eating on milkweed, and eggs of the painted lady butterfly on pearly everlasting and pussy toes. A dragon fly has been following me around as I work, and the hummingbirds stop to check things out.  It is a beautiful exciting time!  Get outside and enjoy.

Monarch Caterpillars

Our insects and pollinators have been in serious decline the past few years. This is a week is to heighten our awareness of pollinators. Make an effort to spot some butterflies, bees, dragon flies, or maybe a hummingbird.

Create a yard pollinators want to visit.

Unfortunately, we have become a mono-culture world of asphalt, concrete, turf grass and hostas. Maybe you live in corn and soy bean country, more mono-cultures. Most of us can make changes to our environment to help pollinators. Maybe just place a pot of flowers on your deck, something that bees and butterflies like, or maybe replace a hosta with a wild geranium or native violets, maybe stop using chemicals on your lawn and turn it into a clover yard, or plant some bee balm, milkweed, coneflowers or sunflowers.

A new extensive UN study says we are on track to loose over a million spieces in the next few decades.  Pesticides are a problem for bees and insects, but the study says the lack of plant diversity is also a big problem. Our farmers plant too much corn and soybeans, and yards have too much turf grass and too many hostas!

Each one of us can make a difference, think diversity in your yard! How can you brighten your yard and make it more attractive to pollinators?

Find ideas from the Xerces Society or native plants from Audubon for your area here.

The urban and rural gardener all have an important part to play in the health of our pollinators. Diversity is important. Keep it simple to start,  native plants are  easy to grow, but don’t forget native trees, especially oaks, are excellent at adding diversity. Last, but most important, purchase plants from serious nurseries, and ask to make sure plants haven’t been treated with neonicotinoids.

“Nature needs to be appreciated for itself and viewed as natures health dictates our human health. Without healthy water, land and soil and wildlife we will not survive as human beings. We must set aside of land, and water bodies and protect them from development. We must be aggressive protecting our land water and wildlife.” Ecowatch,  read more here.

Neonicotinoids and Bees

It’s For the Birds!

Black-capped chickadee outside my window

2018 is the year of the bird!

What does that mean? It means Audubon, National Geographic, Cornell, BirdLife International, and most importantly, bird lovers everywhere are teaming up for a year of action for birds! 2018 is the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and what better way to honor our most important bird-protection law than with our own small ways of protecting birds.  Sign up to take a pledge to help birds here.


My bird friendly yard. The birds eat the seeds of these cone flowers all winter

Birds are struggling because of loss of habitat, and heavy use of pesticides and other chemicals by farmers, corporations and gardeners. My thing is creating a friendly habitat for birds. Audubon has plants for bird friendly yards. Read at Audubon


Protecting Birds and Building a New Stadium

by Jim Williams
by Jim Williams

 Call the Vikings and tell them to install bird safety glass. 952-828 6500, or  and call Gov. Dayton 651 201 3400.

Our bees, butterflies and birds are in serious decline.  We all should reduce our footprint to protect our wildlife. This also means businesses and the Minnesota Vikings! In Minnesota we are having a debate over whether the Minnesota Vikings should place bird protective glass on the new stadium being built. This stadium is near the Mississippi River, a major migration flyway. And…it is a publicly funded stadium, one-third being paid for by the citizens of Minneapolis. To be a good corporate citizen the Vikings need to follow state laws(safety glass), and positively contribute to the environment where they reside.
The Star Tribune, Minnesota’s largest newspaper editorialized that in the big scheme of things, it was not a big deal to protect these birds…WOW! “Keep Bird Deaths in Perspective” I consider the Vikings actions and the editorial board both hitting a new low! In my perspective 1 million for protective glass is minimal when a billion dollars is being spent and large portion is a public hand-out!!

This is the counter argument from Audubon:

As stewards, we are responsible for our impact on the Earth’s well-being, and it is precisely the logic presented in this editorial that is putting our vital ecosystems in trouble. We know that it is not a single deforestation event, a single oil spill or a single storm that leads to significant decline of bird species, but rather the effect of multiple factors over time. The good news is that the same way our cumulative actions can stress and degrade the environment, our individual actions can lead to its protection and recovery. Take the bald eagle, for example, or bluebirds.

Migratory birds are legally protected because they play a pivotal role, pollinating plants and controlling insect populations. One bird can eat 500 pests per day, reducing the need for toxic pesticides. Disarmingly, their populations are not constant; they are decreasing because of human activities, including glass buildings. Research shows that many once-common species have had a 50 percent reduction in just the last 50 years.

Video,”Change the Glass Now”

What can you do?

1. Call the Vikings and tell them to install bird safety glass. 952-828 6500, or  and call Gov. Dayton 651 201 3400.

2. Reduce the chemicals you use in your yard, and plant bird friendly plants like cone flowers, little blue stem grass, cup plant, and Joe Pye Weed. These are just a few ideas that are easy to grow and birds love these plants.

3. Leave your car at home or carpool at least one day a week to reduce pollution.

4. Reduce plastic consumption and recycle all plastic bags.

Community facebook page:


Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by birds!
Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by birds!

Views of a Warming World

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)Below are two excellent articles from Audubon

I too am worried about the future of our birds, butterflies bees, and all of us!  I have noticed a big decline in the hummingbirds and butterflies in the last 4 years.