Native Plants: Turning My “Green Desert” Lawn into Humming, Fluttering Habitat

In  March, I spent two glorious days at the 32nd annual convention of the Wildflower Association of Michigan. Having worked with Ben VanderWeide, our township’s Natural Areas Stewardship Manager for four years, I’m still absorbing information on native plants at a ferocious pace. Like many of us, I’d never given much thought to the sources of … Continue reading Native Plants: Turning My “Green Desert” Lawn into Humming, Fluttering Habitat

Bees and “Wannabees”: Native Pollinators Tend Early Summer Blooms

When most of us think of pollinators, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) comes to mind first – and with good reason. These hive bees work industriously in agricultural fields and orchards. And we benefit from the fruits, vegetables and of course flowers they visit.  According to MSU Extension, though, they are active in temperatures above 60 … Continue reading Bees and “Wannabees”: Native Pollinators Tend Early Summer Blooms

The Milkweed Connection: A “Welcome Home” for Our Superhero Monarchs

Great news! Reports from the Monarch Butterfly wintering grounds in Mexico say that this will be another good year for Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in our area! Monarchs of the Midwest and Northeast count on us to provide a big pulse of wildflowers with nectar to sip and lots of Milkweeds (genus Asclepias) on which to … Continue reading The Milkweed Connection: A “Welcome Home” for Our Superhero Monarchs

Paint Creek Trail: Last Hurrah of Spring Wildflowers, Tiny Pollinators and Nesting Migrators

Since this week’s blog features a variety of wildflowers along parts of the Paint Creek Trail, I thought we’d start with a little visit to the creek itself, which is currently overflowing its banks. The Swamp Buttercup certainly seems pleased with all that moisture! (If you increase your volume, you can listen to the soothing … Continue reading Paint Creek Trail: Last Hurrah of Spring Wildflowers, Tiny Pollinators and Nesting Migrators

NestWatch: Being Citizen Scientists in Our Backyards and Parks

On March 21, Dr. Ben VanderWeide, the township’s Natural Areas Stewardship Manager, shared a Cornell Lab of Ornithology presentation on how to safely and accurately monitor bird nests as citizen scientists. Cornell Lab and other researchers count on citizen scientists to provide important information on the nesting success of common birds in our backyards and … Continue reading NestWatch: Being Citizen Scientists in Our Backyards and Parks