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

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

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

Formal Garden of the Vanderbilts

At the F.W. Vanderbilt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, the restored formal garden is a jewel in its own right, while also a haven for a wide diversity of pollinators. The garden was restored in 1984 by a group of volunteers with permission from the National Park Service.  Today, the gardens are still maintained by volunteers of the Frederick W. Vanderbilt Garden Association, Inc., … Continue reading Formal Garden of the Vanderbilts