Celebrating Butterflies

Hobomok skipper on Canadian anemone

I love butterflies, and National Pollinator Week gives me an excuse to concentrate on what brings butterflies to my yard and to my walking routes. This week I learned two new skipper butterflies: the hobomok skipper and Arctic skipper.  Both are crazy for wild geranium, The yellow swallow-tail, painted lady and admirals are plentiful now also, and a few monarchs are checking out the milkweed.  Also, this week I saw one pearl crescent and a silvery blue.

Arctic skipper on wild geranium
Favorite butterfly books

Below are two books that help me identify butterflies, and here is an on-line butterfly guide.

Have fun land I hope you enjoy butterflies as much as I do!  Get out for a walk and look!

 

An American painted lady

A Win-win for Pollinators and People

How can you help our pollinators? Our pollinators are struggling to survive.  There are things we can do in our yards to help pollinators. The mono-culture of perfect green turf grass lawns does nothing to help our struggling pollinators.

Blue Salvia are loved by bees.
Blue Salvia are loved by bees. (not native)

I have been on a road trip from Minnesota, through Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska,  and South Dakota, and have been amazed at the manicured thick turf grass that dominates in parks and lawns.  Turf grass has no value for pollinators, and when fertilized adds unhealthy chemicals harmful to pollinators, humans, pets, wildlife and our water bodies.  Adding a diversity of fresh new plants and removing some lawn can make a big difference for our pollinators.

Walking a trail in Lincoln, Nebraska I was thrilled at their efforts to help our pollinators. They are allowing clover and native plants to grow. I even saw a few milkweed popping up.

Just a few changes can make a big difference for pollinators.(bees, butterflies, and birds)
Just a few changes can make a big difference for pollinators.(bees, butterflies, and birds)

Spring is a fabulous time to add new plants to your yard. A wide diversity of plants helps

Foam flower is an early blooming plant
Foam flower is an early blooming plant

our pollinators. Native plants don’t need chemicals so they are the healthiest for you, children, pets, and the pollinators.  More garden diversity, and less chemicals creates a win-win for our earth and us all!

Here is a good article on creating more diversity for pollinators.

Pussy toes add texture and interest
An early blooming plant, pussy-toes add texture and interest, and is a host plant to the painted lady butterfly

image

Allowing the violets, Virginia waterleaf and dandelions(until they go to seed), and clover can create easy gardening and great pollinator habitat.

 

http://www.startribune.com/flower-power-season-long-blooms-are-a-win-win-for-people-and-pollinators/378411041/

https://health4earth.com/add-fun-pollinators-to-your-yard/

Always consider how to add more milkweed. Swamp milkweed has been the most successful for me.
Always consider how to add more milkweed. Swamp milkweed has been the most successful for me.
Wild geranium, easy to grow, is loved by bees and butterflies.
Wild geranium, easy to grow, is loved by bees and butterflies and is early blooming

Tragedy Strikes Pollinators in Oregon

Bee Happy

Pesticides/neonicotinoids must be restricted and some banned!

Last week as we were celebrating our marvelous pollinators for Pollinator Week,  it is estimated that 50,000 bees were killed at one location by a neoicotinoid pesticide that has been banned in Europe

A landscaping company made a huge mistake, they did not follow the directions for the pesticide they were using. They sprayed 50 blooming Linden Trees in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon.  This led to the massive bee kill.  Just imagine how often this kind of mistake is being made!!

I recommend not using chemicals of any kind for the health of your family, pets, pollinators and wildlife.  012

http://www.xerces.org/2013/06/21/pesticide-causes-largest-mass-bumble-bee-death-on-record/

http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2013/06/state_investigating_death_of_h.html#/0

Celebrate National Pollinator Week

                                                                                        thCAVHV2HN
This is National Pollinator Week.

Pollinators are essential to our environment.  They are necessary for most of the world’s flowering plants and crops. Habitat loss, pesticide use, and introduced diseases are taking an enormous toll on our pollinators.

My short list of what you can do today!

1. Do not use chemicals like insecticides or pesticides, and I would reduce the use of all chemical use!
2. Second, plant flowers that bees and butterflies like.  They like clover and dandelions  and many flowers.  Perfect turf grass and hostas are not good pollinator food.
Below is from the Xerxes Society. They work to save our pollinators:
Whole Foods Market and its vendor companies have relaunched the Share the Buzz bee conservation initiative. And for the second year running, they are teaming up with the Xerces Society to promote awareness of and engagement in pollinator conservation.
As part of the Share the Buzz campaign and in celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 17-23), Whole Foods Market invites you to support our work.
Eat Summer Squash: Between June 12 and 25, Whole Foods Market stores nationwide will donate $0.10 to the Xerces Society for each pound of summer squash sold. Yup, on every summer squash: zucchini, yellow, crookneck, and all the others. The money raised will go directly to support our work with farmers across the country, helping them to restore wildflower-rich native habitat and protect local biodiversity.
To help you find ways to eat squash, we’ll be posting a recipe every day until June 25 on our Facebook page.
Be a Bee-Smart Shopper: The following Whole Foods Market vendor companies are raising funds to help sustain our nationwide bee conservation efforts. Please show them your support!
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., through their brands MaraNatha, Westsoy, Terra Chips, and Arrowhead Mills Attune Foods Cuties Kashi SweetLeaf Muir Glen Talenti So Delicious Udi’s
Find Out More: To discover more ways to support pollinators, including ideas for creating a bee garden in your own community, visit Xerxes Society Webpage:  Bring Back the Pollinators webpage.
Thank you for doing your part!

http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef006.asp

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/DG6711e.html

http://www.restoringthelandscape.com/

Can We Save Our Bees and Our Butterflies?

“Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life” Rachel Carson

A Fritillary on Menardia
A Fritillary on Menardia

Our pollinators are declining at a rapid rate.  Yes, there are things that each one of use can do.  Calling for more research is a waste of valuable time.  It is time for everyone to act.

Below is a good commentary on the loss of our bees:

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/206997751.html

So what can you do?  We are so awash in chemicals we aren’t even aware of them anymore. Below is a list of things that can make a difference for pollinators and for your health, also.

1. Reduce all yard chemicals, and reduce the size of your mowable yard with flowers that pollinators love.

2. Plant more flowers that attract a variety of pollinators.  My favorite for Minnesota and

English: Culver's root, Veronicastrum virginic...
English: Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum. Shot from above at around 4pm, Leland IL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wisconsin are: Bee Balm, Culver’s Root. Cone Flowers, Hyssop, chives, Russian Sage, Liatris (blazing star), wild geranium, and golden rod.

3. Buy organically produced food, and reduce the beef you eat.

4. Reduce the amount of chemicals in your home for cleaning and construction.

5. Support candidates and elected officials that believe in global warming.

6. Never throw chemicals, worms or fish(they can be invasive) into our streams, lakes or storm drains.

7. And..basically anything you do to for clean air, clean water. and save energy  helps all wildlife and humans.

http://www.queenofthesun.com/get-involved/10-things-you-can-do-to-help-bees/

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/05/26/environment/pesticides-suspected-in-minnesota-bee-deaths

http://www.xerces.org/bringbackthepollinators/

http://www.restoringthelandscape.com/

http://www.backyardbrevard.com/2013/05/celebrate-national-pollinator-week-in-june/