Buttonbush a Midsummer Favorite

Growing in the Hudson Highland wetlands, the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is at home alongside tussock grasses with roots growing in spongy sphagnum moss.   It thrives in full to partial sun alongside high bush blueberry and sweet azalea.   Black gum, red maple and mountain laurel find their niche on the slightly drier edges before the forest transitions into a drier oak forest.  This edge habitat … Continue reading Buttonbush a Midsummer Favorite

Bees in the Butterfly Garden

Anne Odell Butterfly Garden – Fahnestock State Park – In a recent venture to The Hubbard Lodge in Fahnestock State Park, I explored a butterfly garden flourishing with beautiful native flowering plants. The garden was alive with tired butterflies sporting tattered wings, queen bumblebees fattening up for a long winter hibernation, and a diversity of solitary bees finishing up their nests.  This garden named the … Continue reading Bees in the Butterfly Garden

All the Buzz Down on the Farm

A Garden Snapshot The idyllic farm conjures up images of chickens scratching around the farmyard, cows grazing in green pastures, and gardens producing a bountiful harvest.  One third of our food supply is achieved through the endless effort of pollinators, in particular bees.  The economic value of insect-pollinated crops in the United States is estimated to be $20 billion dollars in 2000, with native insects … Continue reading All the Buzz Down on the Farm

Bumblebees of the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Region Supports a Diverse Bumble Bee Population. On a recent trip home to the Adirondacks, I stopped along the East branch of the Ausable River and discovered the flood plain was filled with a diverse variety of flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants.  The wildflowers hosted a  surprisingly diverse population of bumble bee species.  In the mid-Hudson Valley where I now reside, I’ve find … Continue reading Bumblebees of the Adirondacks

A Highway “Beescape”

A Small Wonder at a Busy Intersection Wedged between Manchester Road and a busy intersection on Route 55 and Burnett Boulevard in the Town of Poughkeepsie lies a hidden island of wildflowers and a thriving population of pollinators.  A sign marks the spot as “Project Wildflower”, NYSDOT, possibly alerting roadside mowers that this is an area not to be mowed.  What an ingenious idea!  To … Continue reading A Highway “Beescape”

The Bees at Blueberry Pond

The Hudson Highlands abound with vernal pools, making the perfect breeding ground for a variety of salamanders and frogs.  Coincidentally they make a perfect habitat for wild blueberries and their associated pollinators.   For a few years now I have known of one “Blueberry Pond” surrounded with bushes taller than a person can reach and sporting thousands of tiny white bell shaped flowers each spring. … Continue reading The Bees at Blueberry Pond