Pollinator's Perspective

Category Archives: Pollinators Perspective

Invasive Plant Control at Cuivre River State Park

Our Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. crews recently completed an off-the-grid, remote, non-native invasive plant control project for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at Cuivre River State Park.  We treated 150 acres to control Garlic Mustard, a plant that many experts consider one of the ten most destructive plants in the state.  Each of the biennial plants is capable of producing 500 or more seeds, which readily germinate the following year to continue its cycle.  Although the area treated is not frequented by park visitors, the invasive populations of Garlic Mustard none the less were at risk of jeopardizing the entire stream corridor. Our crews worked long days to get the entire area under control.  It is gratifying to play a positive role in controlling unwanted invasive plants in one of Missouri’s most beautiful parks.  Our crews are licensed and trained for this type of work and they are very focused on completing their work in a professional manner.  We are proud of our crews for their hard work and diligent service.

Are You Kidding Me?

Are you kidding?  Did you take a picture of Dandelions?  Imagine the embarrassment of the building owner, the patrons of the establishment, the early pollinators? Wait, what was that about pollinators?  How about a paradigm shift- what once was bad, is now good?  Kinda? The truth of the matter is the early emerging native bee and other pollinators have slim pickings for spring pollen sources.  So this much maligned plant- Taraxacum officials- introduced to our environs, now ranges from Florida to Alaska.  To make it more interesting, it’s a member of the Aster family- generally late summer and fall is the Aster flower show case. There are some other invasive species like Hawkweed which are similar in appearance in flower, but those deeply toothed basal rosette leaves are hard to misidentify- after all we have made Dandelions one of our biggest weed targets in our suburban and urban lawns. It even gets its picture on weed control labels- kind of an all star  invasive!  But I just have to wonder, do the native bees and early pollinators believe it is an All Star too.

When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.

 

 

Spring is Here! And so are the Birds!

Well, Spring has finally arrived, at least according to the calendar.  One thing to notice for sure is the heightened bird activity – seems like its all about a mate and location, location , location.  You may have noticed that some species are uniquely territorial by nature- the common House Wren and the Northern Cardinal  are two that come to my mind.  My favorite thing to do with these over aggressive property owners is to antagonize them of course-   How? Well, check out the Cornell University Website –www. All about Birds.org – it has a wealth of information about bird species including recordings of songs, calls and whistles.  The Northern Cardinal for example has recordings which can bring an aggressive male right in on top of ya- nothing like seeing this brilliant bird within 5′.  I have gone to the step of putting it on my phone – works great- and the birds love to see who is new in the neighborhood.   So next time you are sitting on the back deck- try communicating with the neighborhood birds – guaranteed to eat up your battery life!
When the World wearies, and Society ceases to satisfy, there is always the Garden!

A Bank Stabilization Project

 They say that “hope springs eternal”- this Spring I have a lot of Hope for one of my latest ventures into all things native.  At the bend we have a small creek which borders the East and North sides of our property in St Louis County.  The creek makes a big sweeping bend to form the property edge.  Last spring we had two pairs of Mallards up and down the creek looking for a spot to call home for the summer.  Unfortunately, last year we were not prepared for the Mallards – but this year- with a little hope – we have built and placed a Mallard nesting structure along the creek bank.   The plan came from the Delta Waterfowl website, that group is all about actively creating nesting sites for all ducks- Mallards included of course. The creek has experienced a stabilization project in the last five years.  Our local municipality cut back and stabilized the opposite bank of the creek with almost all natives species of trees and wildflowers.  Last summer as the colors folded from one to another, yellow to white, white to orange, orange to blue and blue back to yellow, we enjoyed counting bird species taking advantage of our robust little riparian corridor.  We even saw an Indigo Bunting.  This spring already we have counted five pairs of Northern Cardinals along the bend.  Last year we counted five different species of wood peckers- it was an awesome year.  So this year, with a little hope, we are hoping to add Mallards to our permanent resident list – next year I think I will add a Wood Duck box – after all, “Hope Springs Eternal!”When the World wearies, and Society ceases to satisfy- there is always the Garden.

Fabulous Fall Color?

Hard to imagine just a couple of weeks ago we were admiring the grandeur of fall colors.  The gold, orange and crimson lit up the countryside, and when the sun hit them just right- it was hard to beat good fall color!  Perhaps you were amazed at the brilliant planting along one of our state right of ways, I cannot help but to wonder the genius and funding source for such a robust planting?  Funding source?  Can you imagine the cost of this planting? I know what you are thinking, who in their right mind would plant so many bradford pears, side by side,  on a highway right of way ?  The answer is no one of course – these are the Callery Pears- the straight species – product of birds, bees and cross pollinating.  Oh joy!  Now, lets talk about the real cost of this planting,…

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