Our yard is alive with wildlife this spring, so thought I would post some photos of the critters and a few native plants they’re especially attracted to. The insects attract a host of larger insects and in the chain of life, they in turn attract a rich bird and lizard population that feeds on them all. The last photo I took was of a Cooper’s hawk hoping to feed on one of those birds. [Read more...]
What a joy this spring to walk around our yard here in Southern California – a former lawn now full of native and other wildlife-attracting plants. The native bees have arrived in higher numbers, challenging the busy honeybees on our blooming ceanothus and lavender. Our resident Anna’s hummingbird seemed to survive the cold spell this winter and is perching on his usual tree branch [Read more...]
An article on page three of today’s Los Angeles Times talked about declining monarch butterfly numbers in Mexico where it winters. But here is an important takeaway that was buried a bit in the article: the use of genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the midwest where the monarch breeds contains Roundup (glyphosphate) that is killing the monarch’s vial food source — the milkweed plant . [Read more...]
Pollinators – birds, bats, bees and butterflies – are critical. They pollinate over 200,000 of the world’s flowering plants, including 80% of our food plants. The genetic material they transfer allows seeds to form, which continue the species.
Kurt Leushner, a popular professor at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, highlighted our local pollinators at a recent horticulture meeting.
Below are some of his highlights [Read more...]
I attended a local Audubon talk by Monika Moore on the experiences with her butterfly garden. In 2002 she started transforming the hardscape in her Fullerton, CA backyard into a butterfly haven, particularly for Monarchs. I think photos tell the story better than words so will begin [Read more...]
It’s a rare person who doesn’t get excited when a butterfly flits by. Lately we’ve had a lot of Western Tiger Swallowtails flying around our property, which makes sense because we have the host plant – sycamore — that it needs to lay its eggs and for its caterpillar stage. Plus we have plenty of buckwheat and yarrow all summer long that provide nectar for local butterflies.
Today I attended a talk “Butterflies of the Los Angeles Basin” [Read more...]