Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

Pollinator killing plants: questions to ask nurseries

I’ve been besieged with a lot of email petitions recently about  a pesticide called neonicotinoids (neonics for short), found in some plants sold by nurseries, which has been shown to kill bees, butterflies and other pollinators – so the word is definitely out. When pollinators visit the flowers or caterpillars eat the leaves of the pre-treated plant, they die. There’s a concern to humans too, as herbs also are being sprayed (see example below).  So what can we do? I received info from the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) in Seattle WA, regarding questions people should ask their nurseries.

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Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard

Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard

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...]

GMO Food Concerns: Research to Ponder

GMO Food Concerns: Research to Ponder

It’s taken me awhile to write this one because it’s such a complex issue — and I wanted to better understand it. I still have questions but what I’ve found so far is concerning. And too many people are not talking about it. It’s the rising use of pesticide/herbicide use — and resulting problems — as more genetically modified (GM) are developed and used in agriculture.

The good news is here in California where I live, we will have the opportunity in November to vote on a Right to Know initiative regarding genetically engineered foods.   [Read more...]

Did you know: 1600 bee species in California?

Did you know: 1600 bee species in California?

I visited the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert the other day and came across an exhibit on bees that stated the following fact:

There are over 1600 species of bees in California.

Now I find that amazing – 1600 out of an estimated 4000 worldwide. It went on to say that 100 different species were living around the plants growing in the exhibit. I asked Dr. Robin Thorp, entomology professor of University of California-Davis some questions [Read more...]

Let’s Not Expand Wildlife Killing on Public Lands

Let’s Not Expand Wildlife Killing on Public Lands

The purpose of my blog is not to be a political activist; however, this notice about a federal bill (which has passed the House) to expand wildlife killing is something that people should know about. If this passes, more public lands including National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges will be open to recreational hunting, and the EPA’s role in the poisons used will be weakened.  Below is an edited notice sent by Project Coyote, an organization I’ve written about (one earlier blog) that works on solutions for wildlife-human coexistence. If you can take a moment and email or call your two senators…. (it only took me 3 minutes to use the link below and call)  or pass this on.
At Last, Media Coverage of Federal Wildlife Killing

At Last, Media Coverage of Federal Wildlife Killing

I’ve written about the Project Coyote’s efforts (see end of post for my impression of their leader, Camilla Fox) to promote co-existence with coyotes and other wildlife, and mentioned the estimated half-million coyotes killed each year. I’m not sure if I included that the U.S. federal government – at taxpayer expense – kills 80,000 to 90,000 coyotes annually. Fox  has said that changing this practice is their  most challenging effort.

Finally, the media is addressing this issue. [Read more...]

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

Pesticides Negatively Affect Human Health

You’ve likely seen the headlines the last few days. In our local paper, the Los Angeles Times’ “Pesticides suspected in mass die-off of bees discussed mounting evidence that pesticides negatively impact bees. I’ve written two prior posts on the collateral damage of pesticides on wildlife – this one addresses human health effects. I think my aversion to pesticides started when my father would get out the can of Raid and spray it on the wasps attracted to our plates of food when we ate outside on hot summer days in Chicago. That led to many a battle between us. If he was still alive, I’m sure we would have a lively discussion on the mounting evidence. [Read more...]