National Pollinator Week

What can you do to help our birds, bees and butterflies?  Can you plant some milkweed or other native plants? Can you become aware and reduce the chemicals you use? Can you learn about neonicotinoids and be sure you never purchase plants that have been treated with them? For your information, neonicotinoids have recently been banned from use by the European Union.

Yesterday I had a mourning cloak, a painted lady, a red admiral, hummingbirds, and monarch caterpillars in my yard.  Milkweed and native plants make a big difference for pollinators. I am not a fan of lists because experience is better, but here are some native plant lists to get you started:  and from Audubon

Planting purple cone flowers, bee balm, black-eyed Susan and milkweed are easy ways to get started. After years of trying to get milkweed to grow, I now have swamp milkweed everywhere. It has reseeded itself and thrives in my yard. Also, common milkweed and butterfly weed have sprouted up, but only a few monarch butterflies. The few monarch butterflies have a big job ahead of them, and I am still hopeful we can get their numbers to improve! If everyone does a small part, it can make a big difference!

Below is a video from PBS about monarch caterpillars, enjoy!


A Superior View

Compton's Tourtiseshell
Comptons Tortiseshell

My Lake Superior View for July

The weather is fabulous, and the lake breeze is blowing away the biting insects!!

Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed

The swamp milkweed is covered with tiny monarch caterpillars, and we have several Rose-breasted grosbeaks visiting our yard daily.
We learned a new butterfly, the Comptons tortiseshell.

Tiger swallow-tail butterfly
Swallowtail butterfly

A surprising thing happened. Sadly, it probably happens often. A Swallowtail butterfly was going back and forth, and back and forth. I watched for about 10 minutes, and wondered if it was some kind of butterfly ritual? Luckily, the sunlight picked up a faint spider silk. This beautiful butterfly was trying to free itself from a spider web. With a little help from me, the Swallowtail was free, and a spider had lost his dinner.


North country Ruby-throated hummingbirds and other birds bring joy!

rose-breasted grosbeak
rose-breasted grosbeak