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

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

Spring Flowers and Wild Bees of “Slabsides”

It is hard to imagine a more fitting place to explore and observe nature than at the woodland retreat of, American naturalist, John Burroughs.   Today’s outdoor enthusiast can follow in his footsteps and sit on the porch of his rustic home called, Slabsides situated on a rocky crag overlooking Celery Swamp.    This 200 acre oasis is located in the Black Creek watershed on … Continue reading Spring Flowers and Wild Bees of “Slabsides”

Bumble Bees Suffer from Climate Change

It is December 24th and I am listening to spring peepers chirp on this extremely mild and wet day in the Hudson Valley! I am not sure if this is the earliest I’ve ever heard them or the latest, regardless I’m sure it is a rare event for the phenological records of the region. According to the calendar, winter is here but no significant cold … Continue reading Bumble Bees Suffer from Climate Change

When is Native…Invasive?

The Cup Plant in the Adirondacks: In recent years, a new flower has appeared growing along the east branch of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks. It is a tall (8 to 10’) and beautiful member of the aster family and bees love it! The flower is known as Cup Plant or Indian Cup (Silphium perfoliatum) and is native to North America but not the … Continue reading When is Native…Invasive?

A Golf Course for Pollinators

Bethpage State Park: A Model for the Future Bethpage State Park, located on Long Island, is best known for its five world-class golf courses, including the world renowned Black Course which was the site of the U.S. Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. These 1,500 acres of open space is an island oasis surrounded by a densely populated suburban community. This landscape is an ideal … Continue reading A Golf Course for Pollinators

Fields of Lupine

A field of blue lupine in full bloom is a sight to behold!  The Albany Pine Bush in the shadow of Albany, New York’s Capital City, is a unique pitch pine ecosystem where the blue lupine thrives in the sandy soils and open meadows of the preserve.  This fire adapted ecosystem thrives on disturbance that keeps this forest in early successional stages. The blue lupine … Continue reading Fields of Lupine

Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators

Do beavers play a role in providing habitat to native pollinators?  Today, pollinators benefit from roadside flowers, old farm meadows, hedgerows, forest edges and gardens, however, these are all by-products of modern human civilization.  What about prior to European colonization of North America when nearly 99% of New York and the Northeast was covered in forest.  Where in this dense forest did the 477 native … Continue reading Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators