The Pollinators of Stony Kill Farm

Suzanne, Elizabeth and Wilhelmina burst out of the manor house into the wide open spaces of Stony Kill Farm. The three sisters ran down the farm lane with intentions to play hide and seek in the barn but suddenly they spot an yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly fluttering in the hayfields. They look at each other and in silent accord jump with leap and bounds through … Continue reading The Pollinators of Stony Kill Farm

The Amazing Milkweed

The common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) found growing in abandoned farm fields and along roadside edges is quickly dismissed as a “weed”. The milkweed is so much more than an unwanted plant growing in unwanted places. This underrated native herbaceous perennial produces beautiful sweet smelling flowers that makes it a pollinator favorite and it is also the host plant of the Monarch butterfly caterpillar. The common … Continue reading The Amazing Milkweed

The Serviceberry: A Sign Post of Spring

Winter in the North is long and cold forcing the frost to penetrate deep, freezing the ground solid as a rock. The serviceberry, a small flower bearing tree, signals the ground has thawed, a sign post to people it was time to bury their loved ones that had died the previous winter. Funeral services commenced with springs advent and the tree was aptly named the … Continue reading The Serviceberry: A Sign Post of Spring

The Blooming of the Bloodroot

Early spring heralds the blooming of woodland flowers and the awakening of bees. Most native bees are solitary and overwinter either in cocoons or as dormant adults. Even some butterflies, such as the mourning cloak, overwinter as adults. The warm rays of the sun lull the bees from their slumber coaxing them to seek out sustenance from the emerging spring ephemerals that bloom on the … Continue reading The Blooming of the Bloodroot

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bees

…From Bee Expert Tim Stanley  (An Student Conservation Association, SCA, Interview), 2016 When residents of New York’s Hudson Valley want to know something about bees, Tim Stanley is thier go-to-guy.  He’s a beekeeper, and a veritable expert on the region’s wild bees (which, as you’ll learn, differ substantiallly from the bees we raise for honey). We recently interviewed him in an attempt to find out … Continue reading Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bees

Squash Bees and Mastodon’s

Take a look deep into the yellow squash flowers and there is a good chance the stripped abdomens of squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa) will be pointing skyward, with heads buried and long tongues extended, they partake from the squashes nectar wells. These fuzzy yellow honey bee sized insects have formed a time tested relationship with plants from the squash (Cucurbita) family. Squash flowers invite other … Continue reading Squash Bees and Mastodon’s

The Revolutionary Pollinator Garden

When Europeans first sailed across the ocean they started a revolution that would change the botanical nature of North America. In their cargo holds colonists brought seeds from a pharmaceutical cornucopia of plants that would mend and heal and over time many of these plants escaped from the domestic gardens into the wild. Some of these powerful medicinals, such as dandelion and plantain, would become … Continue reading The Revolutionary Pollinator Garden

Pollinators are Celebrating at College Hill Park

Pollinators are celebrating at a revitalized garden at College Hill Park in Poughkeepsie, NY. The park is situated in the center of an urban landscape and on top the highest point in the city a most curious Parthenon like structure, known at the “Shelter”, stands with grand views of the Hudson Valley. Down the hill from this structure built in 1935 is the Clarence Lown … Continue reading Pollinators are Celebrating at College Hill Park

Digger Bees and the Beardtongue

The foxglove beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) is an early summer favorite of the fast flying and long tongued digger bees (Anthophora spp.). This bee is easier to hear than to see, producing a loud buzzing noise as it zigs, zags and zips among the white blossoms. The best chance to get a good glimpse of this honey bee sized insect is when they pause to hover … Continue reading Digger Bees and the Beardtongue