School butterfly garden guest post

This week, you can read my guest blog post on the Wild Pollinator Partners blog, called Down to the Nitty Gritty: creating the Churchill Alternative School butterfly garden. This garden was planted in the spring of 2019, and already had butterfly caterpillars and a variety of bee visitors within a couple of months. It proves … Continue reading School butterfly garden guest post

Flower flies: surprise pollinators

This summer, I took a lot of photos of pollinators on flowers. I am now sorting through them trying to identify the different insects. To my surprise, some of the pollinators were actually flies. And they're actually quite beautiful, some mimicking bees and wasps with similar striping and hair. Is it a fly? Once you … Continue reading Flower flies: surprise pollinators

Migrating bird magnet: unusual guests at our stream

"What's that bird?!" I called out as I ran into the house, desperately trying to get my son's attention. We both enjoy watching birds, but he is much better at identifying them. It was mid-August, 2018 and I wasn't expecting to see any unusual visitors at our new stream. It was a Chestnut-sided Warbler! We … Continue reading Migrating bird magnet: unusual guests at our stream

Butterfly spotting, part 2: new butterfly visitors

This summer, I also discovered some new butterflies in the garden. I have been trying to attract them by adding more food plants: flowers with nectar for adults, and a variety of host plants for their caterpillars. My efforts are certainly paying off. Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies For the first time ever, I saw Great … Continue reading Butterfly spotting, part 2: new butterfly visitors

Butterfly spotting, part 1: common butterflies in the garden

I must sound like a broken record. In most of my blog posts, I begin with a variation of: "Even though our native plantings are only a few years old, I see more insects/birds each year, and a greater diversity of insect/bird species." Here I go again -- in 2019, I saw so many butterflies, … Continue reading Butterfly spotting, part 1: common butterflies in the garden

Neglect and bird poop: how my native hedgerow began

I used to think that our back yard was just too big. At the very end, there is a 10-foot high chain-link fence that separates our yard from the high school field beyond. Each spring, I battled a tangle of tree seedlings, vines, and weeds that sprung up near the fence. I dreamed of creating … Continue reading Neglect and bird poop: how my native hedgerow began