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

A Bee’s Eye View of the Garden

Planning a Garden With Bees in Mind – The sweeping vista of flower filled meadows is a sight to behold yet aesthetics are a side effect to the flowers true intent. Flowers are not seeking human admiration but seeking the attention of pollinators. Through visual cues, the flowers are shouting… “Pick me! Pick me!”   A closer look reveals that over evolutionary time flowers have gone … Continue reading A Bee’s Eye View of the Garden

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”

Cellophane Bees at Work!

Cellophane bees like 70% of solitary bees nest underground and often receive a bum rap due to confusion with ground nesting yellow jackets.  Yellow jackets are not bees but wasps and like most wasps are predators preying on insects.  In addition, yellow jackets are social insects (like honeybees and bumble bees) living in hive and are on high alert to serve and protect the single … Continue reading Cellophane Bees at Work!

In Search of Blue Pollen

The subtle pink of the wild geranium is popular with spring time bees and its blossoming coincides with the developing leaf canopy that will shade the forest floor.  Take a moment to enjoy this woodland flower and note the nectar guides that lure the bee to its sweet reward, a nice exchange for pollination services rendered.  Observe the stamens where the pollen is located and … Continue reading In Search of Blue Pollen

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

Fields of Trout-Lily

Trout-lily are a true spring ephemeral with thier leaves dying back shortly after the forest canopy is leafed out.  This monocot belongs to the genus Erythronium and as its common name implies is a member of the lily family.  John Burroughs, American naturalist, offered the name fawn-lily or trout-lily as an alternative to to the less attractive name of adder’s tongue, feeling the flower was … Continue reading Fields of Trout-Lily