Thursday, April 26, 2012

Xerces "Bring Back the Pollinators" Campaign

The Xerces Society has created this interesting and thoughtful campaign to bring awareness to pollinators.

Visit their website:

Here are some details:

Take the Pledge to Protect Bees

Bring Back the Pollinators is based on four principles: grow pollinator-friendly flowers, provide nest sites, avoid pesticides, and spread the word. With these core values, pollinator conservation can be adapted to any location, whether you tend an urban community garden or a suburban yard, work in a city park or on a farm. Bring Back the Pollinators has already spread from coast to coast thanks to Rapid Refill. Now we are asking you to join in this campaign.

We make the commitment to you that we will work every day to protect pollinators and their habitat. Will you make a similar commitment to the pollinators? Will you sign the pledge?

  • Grow a variety of pollinator-friendly flowers that bloom from spring through fall.
  • Protect and provide bee nests and caterpillar host plants.
  • Avoid using pesticides, especially insecticides.
  • Talk to my neighbors about the importance of pollinators and their habitat.

When you have signed the pledge, you may purchase and install our new pollinator habitat sign in your front yard, community garden, farm, or wherever you are to show your support for pollinators.

Together, we can bring back the pollinators!

Here are just a few things that Xerces is already doing to protect bees:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maple Seed Bounty

The maple trees caught my attention this spring. At first, I thought they were sickly with brown leaves,

but then I realized it wasn't leaves but rather loads and loads of seed pods dangling from the limbs.

Maples seeds are everywhere. As I drive down the driveway, the dried out seeds crackle and pop. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of one whirling and spinning madly down to earth like a miniature helicopter.

There are piles too! 

So, why so many this year?
 Is this some sign of things to come?

We had a dry and warm winter and no damaging frost, which created excellent conditions for the trees to produce a bumper crop of seeds this year. Stress can also cause trees to produce large amounts of seeds. Is this the trees' last hurrah before they die in some impending drought?

According to the NOAA, due to a weak La Nina, our area will experience, through July, normal to cooler temperatures with average precipitation. The trees should be fine!

With all these seeds, you might consider eating them! Squirrels love them. Maple seeds are edible and can be eaten raw and might be tossed into a salad. When cooked, they apparently taste like peas.

Guten Appetit!