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

A Brew of Spiders

“Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else.”  ― E.B. White

By Patrick Edwin Moran - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Patrick Edwin Moran – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I have a love-hate relationship with spiders. They are a mess to pick up after, leaving droppings on my floors and the outside of my house. They build webs in every corner and under chairs and furniture. And Spiders are scary.


They do so much good for the earth and are one of the most interesting living things on our planet.  Spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined, and they are valuable food source for birds and bats. Hummingbirds use spiderweb material to build their nests. The most fascinating thing about spiders are those incredible webs, and famous stories in literature are Charlotte’s Web and Arachne. Some spiders build a new nest every day, and in Ukraine Christmas spiders are good luck. has put together 83 amazing facts about spiders.  Read them here.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Yikes, a Moth!

Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.
Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz

What do you know about moths?  They are not the “Ick” insect you might of thought of as a child.  Because most, not all, are nocturnal we might not experience them except caught in a window or spider web. The best ones I have seen are in the bathrooms of campgrounds, and they are magnificent! This is National Moth Week, so what better time to get out and see if you can find and observe a moth.  This information is from

Seven facts about moths:

1.There are more than 11,000 species of moths in the U.S. alone.

Moths outnumber butterflies, their nearest relative, by more than 10 to 1, said Matthew Shepherd, communications director and senior conservation associate at the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization focused on insect conservation in Portland, Ore. There are upward of 11,000 moth species in the United States alone — that’s more than all the bird and mammal species in North America combined.

A moth the size of a pencil tip.
A moth the size of a pencil tip.

Credit: David Moskowitz

2. Moths make great mimics.

Moths are notorious for their ability to camouflage to keep from being eaten.

3. Moths are important pollinators.

4. Many adult moths don’t eat.

While some moths suck nectar, others don’t eat at all. The adult Luna moth, for instance, doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week. Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz


5. A male moth can smell a female more than 7 miles away.

Though they lack noses, moths are expert sniffers. They detect odor molecules using their antennae instead of through nostrils.  Male giant silkworm moths have elaborate, feather-shaped antennae with hairlike scent receptors that allow them to detect a single molecule of a female moth’s sex hormone from 7 miles (11 kilometers) away.

6. They are important food for many animals.

Because of their abundance, moths are major players at the bottom of the food chain.

7. Moths: The next superfood?

In some places in the world they eat moth caterpillars. They are high in fat and protein.

Read the entire article from livescience

 Explore the world of moths this week and enjoy!  Let us know where you see them?


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

Celebrate National Pollinator Week

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!