Pollinator's Perspective

Category Archives: Pollinators Perspective

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,…

Berry Time and the Feeders are Vacant

One of the joys of all things native is the increased insect, bird and mammal activity which follow shortly behind the use of native species in the landscape.  As the seasons pass the bird activity in particular changes, at our home we feed the birds year round.  Having five different species of woodpecker frequent our bend in the creek, we are always leaving suet cakes out for the birds.  They are visited often by other species as well, especially Cardinals.  But of late, not nearly a bird has stopped by.  So it got me a thinking, where are all the birds?  They are still around, just doing other things or found other sources of nutrition.  That little revelation hit me yesterday, as I noticed a small colony of Robins, Cardinals and Cedar Wax Wings on my row of mature Eastern Red Cedars.  The Juniper berries this year are a bumper crop. Then I got to thinking, started looking on the other side of the fence – my suspicions unfortunately confirmed- yep Honeysuckle with those little evil red berries- a bumper crop as well!   And there were all of our neighborhood birds- locked in to some high sucrose junk food.  I can’t wait for winter – I miss my birds relying on my bird seed and suet cakes.
When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.

What A Difference A Year Makes!!!!

It seems like just yesterday, Native Landscape Solutions was asked to design and install a rain garden for the Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site.  This request was part of a RFP in the early spring of 2016.  We were thrilled when we were awarded the work, and we set about preparing the existing basin to be planted as a rain garden.  After some thoughtful consideration, we tilled, amended the soil with compost and tilled again.  The end result was a planting bed ready to receive a collection of native species. The plugs were installed in the summer of 2016.  A good mixture of species were installed with early, mid and late flowering species.  When you install plugs, you are installing Hope & Promise.  Today, some fifteen months later, the basin is loaded with native seed to be relocated to other parts of the site.  This rain garden seed factory is making the most of its opportunities, in addition it is a food factory for native species of pollinators, almost too many to count.
What a difference a year makes!!!  Here is to Hope & Promise!

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