Yes, it’s time for one more native species to take to the air. The great milkweed migration is on. [Read more…] about Other Important Uses for Milkweed
Each fall there is roughly the same amount of yellow foliage, since in most woody plants Mother Nature sees fit to cache yellow pigments beneath the overpowering verdancy of chlorophyll.
While yellow is a stable commodity in the forest, red is a different story. Trees go through considerable effort to create the assortment of red pigments known to nerds as anthocyanins, so it’s not like red is just hanging around, having a beer with yellow as they wait for chlorophyll to fade. It’s a bit more complicated, which makes it less unreliable. [Read more…] about Seeing Red During Fall Leaf Change
I was talking with a friend of mine recently and asked his young grandson if he liked the flowers in my garden. His response was, “Plants make me sneeze,” to which I lightheartedly replied, “Me too.” [Read more…] about Plants That Make You Sneeze
I observed it through binoculars, so as not to scare it off, then slowly crept closer.
I watched as the butterfly unfurled its proboscis, a tube that functions like a straw, and inserted it into the flower. Then the fritillary sucked up nectar by rhythmically contracting muscles in its head. Sugars in the nectar provide energy for flight, defense, reproduction, and the butterfly’s other daily activities. [Read more…] about Butterflies Sip Sweet Nectar
June 22-28 is National Pollinator Week and one of New York State’s important pollinator friendly species is Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp.), a native essential for any garden seeking to attract and help pollinators.
According to legend, Joe Pye was a Native American herbalist who used local plants to cure a variety of illnesses including typhoid fever. For years, it was unknown if Joe Pye was a real person or a botanical myth, that is until research confirmed the plant’s name originated from the nickname of Joseph Shauquethqueat, a Mohican chief who lived in Massachusetts and New York in the 18th and early 19th centuries. [Read more…] about NY Natives: Joseph Shauquethqueat’s Joe Pye Weed
Although it’s possible dandelions arrived on the Mayflower, they do not get the esteem they deserve as plucky immigrants that put down firm roots in a new land, or as a vitamin-packed culinary delight, or as a multi-purpose herbal remedy. [Read more…] about Call the Dogs off the Lions
The high school I attended was too small to have football or track-and-field, which was no great loss, as the only sport I have ever been good at is jumping to conclusions.
We all know correlation does not equal causation, but when appearances point to a culprit, it’s hard to resist. If a baseball just smashed through your window and there’s a kid with a ball glove out in the yard, most of us would not feel any need to investigate further. [Read more…] about Lichens Only Look Guilty
Lambsquarters, Chenopodium album, aka pig weed, fat hen, goose foot. The name lamb’s quarters believed to be associated with “Lammas Quarter,” an ancient English festival that was held at the time this plant, or its relative orache, was harvested.
The name Chenopodium album translates as: cheno “goose,” podium “foot,” and album “white,” referring to the shape of the leaf resembling a goose’s foot and the color of the leaf’s underside. White – goose- foot. [Read more…] about History’s Editable ‘Weed’: Lambs Quarters
Once, when I was little, I was so thrilled to come across a gorgeous, dark-red trillium that I picked it and placed it in a vase in the house. I was disappointed when it quickly wilted.
Not only that, but it smelled bad. Such is the dual nature of this spring wildflower: stunningly beautiful, with a scent that appeals to carrion flies. [Read more…] about Trillium: A Beauty of the Spring Woods
Grow-it-yourself food. During this time of pandemic it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Especially if you are, like me, extremely apprehensive about the possibility of becoming exposed to Covid-19 while grocery shopping. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to avoid going out in public, while securing nutritious food, than growing your own. [Read more…] about Victory Gardens: An Old Idea New Again