Pollinator Talk on Bees at Saratoga Springs Community Garden

Sunday, June 2, 2019, Wesley Retirement Community.
Published at: https://butterflywomanpublishing.weebly.com/

Photo: Community Garden  Carpenter bee, common eastern bumblebee, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mason bee, Perdita bee, Squash bee, Susan Philbin, Tri- color bumblebee 

The Saratoga Springs Community Garden located on a 36-acre campus, hosted a bee themed party for gardeners. Mary Ellen Ryall, an environmental educator, spoke on the variety of bees that frequent the garden in Upstate New York. Susan Philbin, a garden organizer, and volunteer arranged the garden event.

The concern is that worldwide pollinating bees are disappearing for several reasons. As many of us know, pesticides kill pollinators. With growth and development, loss of the natural world, corporate farms, fresh water sources disappearing, woodlands being clearcut for building and construction, and overpopulation on top of everything else is having a damaging effect on pollinators. Ryall spoke about the benefit of a community that grows its local food. By using organic gardening methods and planting native flowers to attract pollinators, the Wesley Retirement Community can keep a sustainable landscape.

Ryall introduced the attendees to local bees. The tiniest bee in the world is the Perdita bee, also known as “lost one.” The Perdita is only 2-10 mm and can only fly a short distance. Usually, the Perdita makes its home in the garden soil around a plant it favors. One attendee thought the tiny bee was a sweat bee, but a sweat bee has a green head on a small body. To learn more about Perdita bees, visit Bug Guide at http://bugguide.net/node/view/52624

The bumblebee is one of the most common. Photo: Chi bees in Saratoga Springs, New York, but native bees are in decline. Two species of native bees imperiled on the Red List: Rusty patch bumble bee and the Yellow-banded bumble bee in New York. The Franklin bumble bee is already extinct. One of the prettiest bumbles is the tri-color bumble bee (Bombus ternarius). The photo shows the bumble obtaining nectar from a goldenrod plant. We should mourn when a species is lost, the way the world is going what species is next? It is imperative that we protect pollinators from all the dangers that are killing them. To learn more visit https://xerces.org/pollinator-redlist/.

Buzzing bumble bees are best at pollinating tomato, potato, and other plants in the nightshade family. The bee attaches its jaw to a flower and vibrates its wings to release pollen — source: The Washington Post, Bumblebee decline.

Did you know that flowers can sense buzzing bees? National Geographic came out with a story in 2019 by scientific researcher Lilach Hadany. A flower that hears a buzzing bee will increase its sugar from 12-17 percent to encourage the bumblebee to visit the flower. Learn more at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/01/flowers-can-hear-bees-and-make-their-nectar-sweeter/

The solitary Mason bee lives in tree holes. A perfect bee house is a bamboo stem. Photo: Mason bee house made from bamboo stems and an old hose. Another bamboo house is near the Wesley woodlands. We want to encourage bees at a distance to come and visit our gardens.

The native squash has its very own specialized bumblebee.

Keep your family healthy, plant an organic garden, and invite pollinators to be your friend. They perform a remarkable service and all for free.


				

Northern Catalpa

One day while looking out the window, I noticed large white particles falling to the ground. They looked like snow or popcorn and in the middle of summer. I went outside to investigate and saw that they were flowers from the Northern Catalpa Tree. I usually paid attention to the long beans that hung from the tree in the fall and called her the bean tree. I loved seeing the flourishing tree this year and thought you might enjoy a short video of the tree and blooms.

The catalpa tree is found in forests from southern Illinois and Indiana to western Tennessee and Arkansas. First cultivated in 1754, the wood was used for fence posts and railroad ties because of its resistance to rot and the tree’s fast growth rate. Do not attempt to eat any part of the tree. I am always looking at wild edibles to add to my diet either as medicine or food. Just admire the plant as a gorgeous ornamental.

Here is a link to viewing the video on Northern Catalpa on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/maryellen.ryall

To learn more visit: https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=805

Blooms of Northern Catalpa

Featured in Shutterbug online! — Cindy Dyer’s Blog

I am delighted to share Cindy Dyer’s photography and article with you. Cindy has helped me with book covers, art layout, and publishing of several books, newsletters, and magazines. Her photography is something to shout about.

Visit at https://www.shutterbug.com/content/always-carry-your-camera-how-botanical-photographer-captured-beautiful-butterfly-image?fbclid=IwAR0TfNkq2ONHATpLqP67xM4hPJ85MAU5nwloNROIRsi_Vk6GPp2-PI9RBxA#C7zuRYw47WWzf5tT.01

Long Hot Holiday

The holiday has been unbearably hot. I have stayed indoors for most of it. With good books to read and thoughts of blogging, I can make a quiet time fun.

Take a refreshing break in the cool of the shade and enjoy a short video of a meadow with milkweed and the chirps of the birds at https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/OwUiklX0RTyBSfpYtpAKkA.0V3N1QKcKFkex0YqSY_tth/gallery/EqKurVL8Osq3Cb-YxLwXZQ

gardens 015

Wind chimes at my private wild butterfly habitation Fitchburg, MA

American Toad in my Garden

One bright day in May, I was at my pollinator garden at the edge of the woods. There in the ground covered leaves was an American Toad. The toad adjusted to my being there and didn’t jump away. I filled a shallow plant saucer with water. An empty clay pot turned upside down, with a large stone placed on one edge, would allow the amphibian to enter as it pleased.

Nearby, in the shade of staghorn sumac, I sat in an aluminum chair and listened to the gentle wind chimes. The toad kept me company and climbed up a large boulder to take the sun. I felt that we were quite a team. The ritual continued for several days until the toad made its way somewhere else. I miss you, my little friend. Do you think of me?

Beetle and Butterfly Pollinator Talk at Saratoga Community Garden

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Speaker Mary Ellen Ryall, Environmental Educator
Saratoga Community Garden at Wesley Retirement Community

BEETLES:

Fossil records show that beetles were abundant during the Mesozoic meh·suh·zow·uhk period (about 200 million years before present). Beetles were flower visitors of the earliest angiosperms such as Magnolia and rose. Source: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/beetles.shtml

Beetle pollinators are attracted to flowers by the bright orange color. The beetles not only pollinate the flowers, but they mate while inside the flowers. A mutant version of the plant with red flowers becomes more common with the passage of time. A particular variant of the beetle prefers the red flowers to the orange flowers. Over time, these two beetle variants diverge from each other to such an extent that interbreeding is no longer possible. What kind of speciation has occurred in this example, and what has driven it? Sympatric speciation, habitat differentiation.

Source: https://www.coursehero.com/file/p52khgvh/Beetle-pollinators-of-a-particular-plant-are-attracted-to-its-flowers-by-their/

Ladybug is the official State Insect of Massachusetts

The ladybug was adopted as the official state insect or insect emblem of Massachusetts in 1974 (thanks to a campaign that began with a second-grade class in the town of Franklin). Because this insect benefits agriculture and delights children everywhere, Ohio, New York, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Delaware also designate the ladybug as an official state symbol.

A ladybug can consume up to 60 aphids per day, and will also eat a variety of other harmful insects and larvae (including scales, mealybugs, leafhoppers, mites, and different types of soft-bodied insects), as well as pollen and nectar.

Also called lady beetle, ladybird, or lady fly, the most common variety of ladybug found in Massachusetts is the two-spotted lady beetle (Adalia bipunctata).

Sources: https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/massachusetts/state-insect/ladybug

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDu1yTb9NdI
Save the New York nine-spotted Ladybug

The nine-spotted Ladybug of New York is also in decline at https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/new-york/state-insect/nine-spotted-ladybug

Puerto Rican Insects are declining.

The date includes pollinators. 2 degrees Celcius has already impacted 60 percent of the insect animal pollinators. If it happens in the tropics, think what is happening here. How many bees and butterflies have you seen of late?

https://news.rpi.edu/content/2018/10/15/two-degrees-decimated-puerto-rico%E2%80%99s-insect-populations

BUTTERFLIES

Some common butterflies that you will find in the New York State area include Cabbage White, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, and Pearl Cresent and Painted Lady.

Pearl Cresent:

Host plant for Pearl Cresent: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters such as New England Aster. The species overwinters in the third instar caterpillar stage.

This spring, May 2, the Pearl Cresent was here when the lilacs bloomed. The butterflies look for native plants as the host plant, including the New England Aster, to reproduce and to obtain nectar. I didn’t see any asters because it was early. Lilac is not native, but first, which usually happens before native plants are out and flourishing. There are two broods, one in May and the other in August. Source: https://libguides.nybg.org/c.php?g=654973&p=4597781

Cabbage White:

Cabbage white butterfly: Reproduces on Brasilia plants such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. Yesterday, I saw the Cabbage white butterfly in someone’s garden plot. The butterfly was laying eggs between the leaves of a Brasilia plant. Check the leaves and lightly wash the plant leaves gently with soap and water, and gently hose down afterward.

Painted Lady and the Monarch Butterfly

Summer 2018 – The Saratoga Community Garden was abundant with Painted Lady. The butterfly, along with the Monarch butterfly arrived around the same time. It was migration time toward the end of August.

The Painted lady overwinters in the southern United States. The Monarch journies back home to the Oyamel fir forest in Mexico. Last year both species were drawn to the brightly colored zinnia flowers. The Monarch butterflies flew right to the red zinnia, which they can see.

Monarch Butterfly Update.

The butterfly has seen a significant rise in the winter species surviving the winter. It is estimated that over 100,000 Monarchs are on their way back up north. With the winter habitat down t less than 20 acres, it is remarkable that the Monarch can still turn around their 10 percent survival rate, at least at the moment. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife are watching the numbers to determine if the Monarch is now an endangered species.

Update: Endangered Species List
What’s next
May 24, 2019
Listing decision deadline extended
December 15, 2020
Listing decision is due

Video of meadow for pollinators

Visited a yard meadow created two years ago that is offering life to native plants, pollinators, and birds at https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/rZQ0WjaJQZqJo7rl2cSUkw.dF5ocdDBtMfGjeXdY9vqU-

Defining Speculative Fiction – DIY MFA

I am starting to tool up for writing a historical nonfiction book on my ancestors.I think this site may be of assistance.

The Neophyte Writer

Knowing your genre is key for getting your book into reader’s hands. Melanie Marttila breaks down speculative fiction definitions!

Source: Defining Speculative Fiction – DIY MFA

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Random prompts sheet – Sat 22nd June — Morgen ‘with an e’ Bailey

Hello. Here are your prompts for today. Make of them what you will and let me know how you get on in the comments section below (or on Facebook/ Twitter). NB. just give us a summary unless you want to share the whole piece but if you post the actual writing, it’s deemed as published and you’ll […]

via Random prompts sheet – Sat 22nd June — Morgen ‘with an e’ Bailey

I did am author interview with Morgen Bailey in the past. She is outstanding in keeping up the game of writing. Bravo Morgen.

Celebrating Anya LaFlamme

Anya LaFlamme attended the pollinator classes I taught at Gateway Park, Fitchburg, MA, a few years ago, She has continued on to pursue the Massachusetts Master Gardener Classes and is a graduate of the Horticulture Program at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens Horticulture College, in Boylston, MA.

I am very proud of Anya. She is also a beekeeper and landscaper. The graduation is on November 2, 2018 at 6 PM. The event will be held at the British American Club, 1 Simon Road, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

Send Anya your congratulations. She deserves our applause. Bravo Anya.

Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer Cargill

 

 

grandmothertonyawhitedeercargill  June 6, 2018 – Goodbye dear sister

Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer Cargill walked on in May 2018. I was traveling in May. I felt that a transition had taken place, and I knew intrinsically that it was Grandmother Whitedeer. I could feel her absence. Yesterday, I telephoned California and spoke with her husband. Grandmother Whitedeer did not suffer at the end of life, according to her spouse, and I am relieved that she walked on to the other side without pain.

Grandmother started the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites at http://waterblessings.org. Some of the sisters helped Grandmother with the website because she was a teacher and not a computer techie. I was honored to be a councilwoman. I remember when Grandmother called me up and told me that it was important that I join and why.

In 2014, I moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, the home of my ancestors since 1856. I am focusing on Herbal Keepers as a Mission: We teach about the importance of pollinators for a secure local food supply. I am a protector of the Green Nation at https://www.facebook.com/Natural-Pollinator-Habitat-Saratoga-Springs-New-York-257029861007844/?ref=hl

water Hans free domain

We need to safeguard water and the green nation for the future, not for ourselves, but for the next generation, and generations to come. Dedicating daily Ceremony is the center of our Being, and we are honored to be called the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites. Water, plant and pollinator advocacy continues at https://insectamonarca.wordpress.com.

Even though our spiritual teacher has walked on, I feel it is important to remember what she taught us about The Net of Light and the Grandmothers Teachings. I am blessed Grandmother trusted the Sisterhood with her life’s lessons and the book of her life’s work entitled Messages from the Ancient Ones. I asked Grandmother if she wanted to publish the book a few months ago and she said no. The book was a gift.

Miigwetch Grandmother. I will always remember you until our paths cross again. Aho.

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