Insects And Us!
The Importance of Insects
Each day at every site we visit, our crews observe an amazing variety of insects in our ecological restorations. For instance, we see butterflies, dragonflies, moths, ants, bumble bees, mason bees, carpenter bees, grasshoppers, aphids, ambush bugs, and many others. We don’t just observe these insects by themselves, isolated, but in a natural setting with other insect species and the native flowers and grasses that they call home. 
Aside from the super cool geeky ecological aspects of insects, why should we care? What impact do these six legged critters have on our environment and our way of life? A majority of our human population goes about their daily lives and never thinks about insects, unless they find one in their house or they are swatting at a mosquito in their backyard. Even though they are out of mind, the importance of insects to our global ecology is paramount. Although there are many, many more, below we highlight the three essential functions of insects in our ecosystem.
Insect of the Month
Locust Longhorn Borer
(Megacyllene robiniae)

This beetle's larvae uses black locust as a host species, often doing considerable damage to the tree. The adults however, forage on flowering plants like boneset, Joe pye weed, and a variety of goldenrod species. It has brilliant yellow stripes along its black body, and light brown legs. Adults lay eggs in the fall, the larva hatch and then hibernate under the bark. In the spring they burrow into the tree and pupate with the adults emerging in September to complete the process again.
Retail Nursery:
Thank You All for an Amazing Year!

Our retail nursery and online ordering are closed for the season. Thank you so much for visiting us this year and we hope to see you back again in 2021!

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Non-native Species of the Month Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)-

Mullein is a common sight on roadsides and in other disturbed areas. It is a biennial from Europe that forms a rosette its first year and then bolts the second year, forming multiple small yellow flowers along its flower spike. The leaves are large, light minty green, and fuzzy. They prefer full sun, dry soils, and can grow from 2-6 feet tall. The small yellow flowers bloom from June to September. When the seeds mature the spike turns a dark brown and can be easily identified sticking out of the snow during the winter months. Hand pulling is a good way to control this weedy pest.
Native Plant of the Month-
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)

Sneezeweed is a clump-forming erect plant with long, fibrous roots. They have rigid, winged stems, growing up to 5 feet tall. This showy fall bloomer creates bright, bushy clusters of showy yellow flowers. Those flowers are made up of wedge-shaped ray florets, notched at blunt ends with 2-4 clefts, and surround a raised, dome-like center head. Grows best in sun or part sun and moist to wet organic-rich soils. Found in moist soils by pond, streams, and ditches, wet prairies, and wet open grounds. Flowers and leaves were ground up and used as snuff for medicinal purposes by Native Americans and early settlers. The snuff caused sneezing; hence, the common name of sneezeweed. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and their flowers attract butterflies, bees, and beetles. Leaves are toxic and bitter and so are left alone by deer or rabbit.
We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! On the last Wednesday of each month we will feature a book discussion and review on our Facebook Page.
Here are next three!
Five Plants For- Shady woodlands!
Shady areas of our yards can be tough to find plants for but if you want to add some natives to your landscape, these woodland species thrive in shady conditions. Give them a try!
Forager Fix
Cattail (Typha spp.) is a common and easy plant to forage. Growing in wetlands, the young spring shoots can be cut and eaten like asparagus. In mid-summer the bright yellow pollen can be collected for use in many different recipes and in the fall, the starchy rhizome (root) can be collected and eaten as well!
Three Hungry Brothers
Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. |