Timing is everything! Three weeks ago the last monarch caterpillar on our native milkweed grew large and plump and disappeared to find a site to form its chrysalis. I hoped all went well, and looked in the usual area where other monarch caterpillars tend to form their chrysalis on plants, on the garden shed, or elsewhere in the same vicinity. I saw no chrysalis. A few days ago in the afternoon I stood on the patio next to the garden beds, watering a few of the thirsty plants.
Credit: Florida Museum of Natural History Here is an excellent article from Florida about restoring habitat and the cost of saving a species from extinction. https://floridaphoenix.com/2021/09/23/rare-fl-butterfly-bounces-back-offers-lesson-for-saving-other-critters/?fbclid=IwAR0SXp7EdrT9q5ar8xVREIoqkLpddFDJYMyG-jxhx0kQ1m-Kp4Zplgwy2YM
Read about the importance of 'Leaving The Leaves' for moths, fireflies, butterflies and all pollinators here: https://xerces.org/blog/leave-the-leaves?fbclid=IwAR3C0lUmFdoJmOVAhA_Dfb73C5ZWBeo1pQzE5XFpfTM4dmUfCsRt4sL8uis
A University of Virginia study indicates that the fragrance of flowers is diminished by air pollution. Click here to read the article: https://news.virginia.edu/content/flowers-fragrance-diminished-air-pollution-university-virginia-study-indicates?fbclid=IwAR1C9I_KULxLfnUo3qK2HxX6JHkAWIHu_J7O8UcCd-NbMRg84wtt-SeKksM And more here: https://news.virginia.edu/content/ozone-masks-plants-volatiles-confusing-plant-eating-insects-and-pollinators?fbclid=IwAR0bj6x0vnXGKh8ViLuv22VI8romm
The only time I ever saw a Dark-eyed Junco was the very first winter we lived in our current home, almost five years ago. It was early morning when six Juncos foraged as a group in our front yard, probably finding insects in the damp ground. That was the first and last time they appeared. Until a week ago. I looked out the living room window and saw a bird with a different colored pattern from the usual birds we see in the garden. It was a Dark-eyed Junco of the "Oregon" form
Some good friends of ours received a large case of white peaches from their friends who had visited the Central Valley area. Our friends couldn't eat all those peaches and shared half of the case with us and other friends. We already had some nectarines that were starting to get a tad mushy, so I combined them with some white peaches to make this scrumptious, easy dessert. It is an adaptation from a recipe I saved many years ago from an issue of Gourmet magazine. All ingredie
Monarchs flutter and zip daily through our garden, almost a constant presence these days. We still are in awe each time we see them, and hope this isn't the last summer and autumn that they will be here. Although some of the plants are no longer blooming, of the native plants the California Delta sunflower plants are still producing a few flowers. Here a veteran female rests on a dried sunflower. Her tattered and worn wings are proof of a long, productive life. Meanwhile this
A resource for the Northeastern US: https://vtecostudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Danforth-Lab.-Creating-a-Pollinator-Garden-for-Specialist-Bees_FINAL_062520.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0KPFmSnwNLTfvn5gB8GMmDNo-3kIHlNTCMWRn2eImzqZ-ixRraLFjXcBk And another resource: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5306468.pdf