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 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

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

The Industrious Carpenter Bee

The fortunate female carpenter bee reuses the maternal nesting chamber and often shares the same hole with her sisters to create tunnels within tunnels. Others set out on their own seeking soft dry wood to begin their life’s work. One late May day, while sitting on my porch, I observed as one such bee set to work marking out a spot. Using her power mandibles … Continue reading The Industrious Carpenter Bee

The Perfect Lawn for Pollinators

The perfect lawn is the imperfect lawn.  The perfect lawn is rugged and natural in appearance and to the untrained eye, aka the average homeowner, would be condemned as the eyesore of the neighborhood. It is a lawn that defies cultural norms but can be aesthetically pleasing.  It has wild edges where shrubs and wildflowers seduce pollinators with sweet smells and bright colors. Unkempt corners, … Continue reading The Perfect Lawn for Pollinators