Saratoga Lake

Saratoga Lake Pontoon (8) Photo shows mowing down to water. Sure indication of possible future erosion.

To the Editor, The Saratogian and Saratoga Today

by Sid Gordon

If Saratoga Lake could talk, it would cry and say help save my life. My main body of water is a little over four miles long. I have been a good lake for Saratoga County and surrounding area. I have tried to take care of all the fish that make me their home and all the swimmers that enjoy my good water for swimming. I have been faithful to the people that use me. I now ask for help as I am dying a slow, but sure death.

I am too small for the number of boats that now use me, along with other things [invasive species, herbicides, pesticides, oil on water, prescription waste disposal, and fertilizers] going into me. The handwriting is on the wall. Can’t anyone see what is taking place with me? For those that know, please care about me. For others that don’t know and don’t care I say, turn around and do something while there is a little life left in me.

I love serving the people in this area. There is nothing worse than when a body of water dies. What good is a dead lake when all the fun is gone? Let those that can do something do so, now before it is too late. Sign up as a volunteer with Saratoga Lake Protection and Improvement District (SLPID) to promote stewardship of Saratoga Lake at http://slpid.org

Attached is the score card: 2015 Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program for Saratoga Lake at

http://slpid.org/content/Generic/View/25:field=documents;/content/Documents/File/87.pdf

Article inspired by Mary Ellen Ryall

NOTE: eColi forced the closing of Brown’s Beach on July 16. Raw sewage was discharged into Saratoga Lake.

This article was published by The Saratogian and Saratoga Today week of 18 July 2016

 

 

Advertisements

Monarch Butterfly Chatbook – Sunflower and Native Bees

SUNFLOWER AND NATIVE BEES

Bees are the number one pollinator and butterflies are the second most important pollinator in the world.

Pollinators are necessary to pollinate flowers, crops and fruits and include native bees, butterflies, moths and bats. It is harmful to use herbicides and insecticides on lawns, farm crops, along roadways and in the garden. Insecticides kill larva and adult insects including bees and butterflies. Herbicides kill weeds often eliminating biodiversity of native plants that pollinators need to survive.

Without pollinators, many of the world’s crop species would disappear. This could include foods such as native squash, potatoes, tomatoes and pumpkins. Only the native bumblebee pollinates potatoes and the bumblebee is being used commercially to pollinate tomatoes.

According to The Xerces Society, Franklin’s bumblebee is already threatened in California. There are hundreds of native bee species in the United States. Bees need a place to live and they need healthy pollen sources. Won’t you make your garden pollinator friendly? In return, native bees and butterflies will delight you by visiting your garden.

Monarch Butterfly Chatbook – The Egg

THE EGG – HUEVECILLO

The male and female monarch butterfly will fly from Mexico to Texas. There they will mate and shortly thereafter die. The mother butterfly urgently needs to find milkweed to deposit her eggs on. This last act will insure the next generation of monarch butterflies. There are four generations that wind their way towards Canada. The fifth generation is the one that lives the longest and returns to Mexico in early fall. How does the butterfly know where milkweed grows?

The butterfly flits over a field or garden looking for milkweed. Watch the flight pattern and you may see a mother butterfly looking for a host plant. Plants have ultraviolet patterns on their leaves and flower petals making them visible to pollinators such as the monarch butterfly. Humans can’t see this but a butterfly can.  A monarch uses a combination of visual and chemical cues to find milkweed.

Once a mother butterfly lands on milkweed, she uses sensory organs in her feet and head to make sure it is milkweed. A monarch may even drum on a milkweed leaf with her forefeet to be certain. The forefeet are located close to the head.   

Notice that there are three eggs on the milkweed plant in the illustration. The mother butterfly carries approximately 200 eggs in her stomach. She touches the abdomen to the underside of a leaf and deposits an egg.  The mother usually deposits only one egg per plant. There is a reason for this. It is probable that the first caterpillar to emerge from an egg will scout for other eggs. A caterpillar is able to defend its own food territory when there is no competition.  Eggs have protein.  Sometimes a mother butterfly is in a hurry and may deposit more than one egg on the same plant. This is known as egg dumping.

By depositing eggs on different milkweed plants, eggs have a better chance of survival if something goes wrong.  There are many risks to milkweed including: Some plants may not be as hardy as others; a storm could destroy a plant; milkweed might be removed because a gardener thinks it is a weed; a land developer could clear cut a large track of land removing all native plants; farmers may plant monoculture crops, genetically engineered crops and may spray crops with pesticides.

There is a loss of approximately 3,000 acres of farmland each year to development. Roadside crews may use herbicides (ER-beh-syds) which poison milkweed, a plant that grows along roadways, one of the major corridors of butterflies. If there is no milkweed along the migration trail, there will be no monarch butterfly migration. This is why it is so important to let milkweed grow.

%d bloggers like this: