Two Bur Oaks and a Crawdad

A group of swamp white oaks Healthy soil is important, but for whom?  In the Garden  The young bur oak would not be kept down. Yet again it revealed itself among the standing dead stalks of a large patch of purple bee balm, a good three feet tall and leafing out. In spring, a bur oak’s leaves look like sharp-edged, glossy cutouts. They are not green, but shade delicately among soft corals, tans and pinks. The green comes a bit later, like a slow-motion wave gently pervading each leathery leaf. The question, as it had been for several years, was what to do with this young newcomer to the garden.  About ten feet away and across the walk from house to garage stands a second bur oak that I’d started from an acorn some twelve years ago. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow its first sets of true leaves, become large enough to attract birds and then mature enough to bear acorns. This winter I limbed it up three feet from the ground, mainly to give the sedges and wild geraniums growing underneath a

Pollinator Garden Resources on the Web

Now that those of us in the northern hemisphere, much of it snowbound, are planning for, dreaming of, impatiently awaiting spring, I hope we are all planning to make our gardens ever more pollinator-friendly.

My own impatience was somewhat relieved this week when I visited the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago's Lincoln Park, a large, greenhouse-like space where the visitor can sit among and watch over 75 species of butterfly from around the world fluttering among tropical plants and basking on sunny flat surfaces. But then, of course, I had to tromp through the snow and get back on the subway for home. Back to dreaming! 

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is my favorite go-to source for pollinator information. They have great down-loadable fact sheets that include regional plant lists, so gardeners can plant local for local pollinators. I just ordered their new book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies, and can hardly wait for it to arrive.

Celebrating Wildflowers, sponsored by the U. S. Forest Service, includes all kinds of pictures and information, including a "pollinator of the month" feature. Gloria at Pollinators Welcome posted a link to the page on squash bees when she commented on my rant Let's Talk about Bees.

Two go-to blogs for me are Clay and Limestone where Gail Eichelberger is doing a weekly pollinator series, and Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants, where Heather Holm frequently features interesting insects. Both blogs have marvelous photos, great for identification. As a non-photographer, I admire those who have mastered this skill--and their products.

Lastly, I really like it when plant information includes faunal associations. I check Dr. John Hilty's Illinois Wildflowers whenever I wish to learn more about a native plant I'm thinking of adding to the garden.

Related Posts:
Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide
Let's Talk about Bees
The Polyculture Lawn: A Primer 
Time Off
Do Your Backyard Plants and Animals Display Phenophases?
How to Help Our Wild Native Bees

Comments

Heather Holm said…
Hi Adrian,
Thanks for mentioning my blog. I love watching insects in the landscape. I just joined the Xerces Society - their book sounds great. I plan to order a copy too, along with the ones you mentioned in your previous post.
Heather
Dave Coulter said…
What a fine post.
I'm a fan of the Xerces Society! :)
Hi Heather & Dave,

Thanks, and glad you both appreciate th Xerces society.
Unknown said…
The Xerces Society is amazing! We are blessed to have them here in Portland. Thanks so much for telling folks about them.
Anonymous said…
Greetings from Southern California, USA

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to :-)

God Bless You, ~Ron
Hi Ficurina and Old Geezer,

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for following.

I'll visit your blogs soon.
Anonymous said…
Adrian, Thanks for the list of very helpful resources. -Jean
Gail said…
Thank you for the shout out! I am pollinator crazy! I am so glad you've guested over at Beautiful Wildlife. gail