Monday, March 19, 2012

Pollinators In The Garden In March



What is this with the way too warm temperatures? Not just air temperatures but soil temperatures and night temperatures have caused the garden to go into hyperdrive. Everything is greening up...fast. Flower buds formed and bloomed within days. The insects are responding as well. Bees and butterflies are sipping at blossoms. Going to keep a camera at hand and a close eye on the garden to try and record this fairly odd spring.



Another non-native species small cabbage white


You can not see from this picture but I think this was a Bombus bimaculatus. None of the other pictures were clear enough to show ID.



The daffodills are nice and early.



Virginia bluebells / Mertensia virginica. this garden needs more early spring blooming native plants. A few native shrubs or tree that blooms very early.



Nanking cherry.


This Osmia cornifrons is not a native bee.


But this bumble bee is native. Maybe Bombus impatiens.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter in a our back garden

This first picture is of the Hobbit garden, the south facing side garden. An almost secret garden.


Can you see the wildlife friendliness?


At the back of the garden our little woodland edge. Can you see the wood mulch paths lined with logs? The "real" christmas tree will remain until spring when the branches will be removed and used for mulch on the path and the trunk added to line paths.


More mulched paths through the gardens.Brick like pavers line the edges of the beds.



Close to the house there is usually more sun so, more native perennial forbs and grasses.While not every plant is native that is the goal for any future planting.


Looking out the back window during recent snow.


A well tended water spot for birds and other creatures. Every morning and some days again in the afternoon frest water is added through winter. Sun often shines enough to heat the metal pan and keep it free of ice for a few hours.


One must step to the rear of the garden to see the area behind the garage. Compost, brush piles,vines and other undisturbed native plantings grow here. Many birds love this area.


A small pond sits here in summer. Now a planter with evergreens and redtwig dogwood stems.A common theme for winter planters in Chicago.


A mulched path on the right leads one through to the back of the garden and the area behind the garage.



Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Save Starved Rock

What are they thinking in Lasalle County? To approve such a mining operation right next to Starved Rock State Park is not a good idea no matter how it is looked at. Please heed the Illinois Chapter Sierra Club's action and contact Lasalle county board before the January 12th open meeting.

Sierra Club Illinois Save Starved Rock
LaSalle County's natural areas and Starved Rock are unique assets that not only offer a chance to experience Illinois' natural heritage, but are also a strong economic engine for the County as well. The Mississippi Sand proposal jeopardizes both these unique natural resources and the attractiveness of this outdoor recreation attraction.
Starved Rock State Park and the rare salt marshes in and around the proposed mine site provide valuable habitat for a wide array of plant and animal life that will be directly and indirectly impacted by mining activity.

Furthermore, over two million people visit Starved Rock State Park each year providing LaSalle County businesses with customers and local governments with revenues. This positive economic activity is based entirely on the experience of the visitor as they step out of their car into the beautiful canyons and listen to the sound of the waterfalls cascade. An active mine brings loud machinery, dust pollution and ceaseless truck traffic.

A mine adjacent to the park won't just scare off wildlife, but will lower park visitation rates and diminish the economic benefits LaSalle County receives thanks to its beautiful natural areas.

Jobs and economic development are needed in LaSalle County but the location of this proposed mine threatens Starved Rock State Park, one of the County's primary economic engines, and contradicts the county's priorities for preserving natural areas and productive farmland.

Controversy grows over proposed sand mine near Starved Rock-Springfield-The State Journal-Register
“Many of use feel it will have a negative effect on Starved Rock,” said John McKee of the Starved Rock Audubon Society. “The mine will be right next to Illinois, Ottawa and Kaskaskia canyons.
“And there will be blasting and dust, and light pollution to disrupt night migrating birds,” he said. “This particular mine is the wrong place

Mike Nowak Starved Rock Sand Mine conversation

Jack Darin, Illinois Sierra Club Director, talks to Mike about a proposed open pit sand mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park that would seriously affect the environmentla aesthetics of the the park. They are joined by LaSalle county residents Mike Phillips and Debbie Burns, who testified in a recent LaSalle County Zoning meeting against the project. Should you wish to voice your objection to the mine, you can log onto this Illinois Sierra Club web page.

Sunday January 8th listen to this weeks show as Mike Nowak again takes up the issue of a sand mine permit at the east entrance to Starved Rock State Park. If you miss the show check back for the archived audio version.
With the full board's vote scheduled for Thursday, January 12, LaSalle county residents have started to organize opposition to the proposed Mississippi Sand LLC operation. A number of those people are joining me on the show today: John McKee, President of the the Starved Rock Audubon Society; Daphne Mitchell of the Illinois River Coordinating Council; Joseph Standing Bear from Midwest Soarring Foundation; Merlin Calhoun, whose LaSalle county property is in the firing line of the proposed sand mine; Tracy Fox, activist and technical writer, who reportedly spoke eloquently but futilely at the zoning board meeting; Katie Dumke Troccoli, who is helping to organize a rally against the decision tomorrow in Ottawa; and perhaps more.

Listen to Mike Nowak and guests discussing the issue.

1-8-12 Mike Nowak Show podcast Save Starved Rock
Rally held in Ottawa Sunday 1-8-12...news video.

1-8-12 Rally Ottawa Illinois Save Starved Rock

Rally youtube video

Mr. Jerry Hicks, ChairmanLaSalle County Board
707 East Etna RoadOttawa, IL 61350

Starved Rock State Park area legislators:

Representative Frank J. Mautino
221 East Saint Paul StreetSpring Valley, Illinois 61362
Telephone: 815-664-2717Fax: 815-663-1629

Representative Pam Roth
3605 North State Route 47, Suite FP.O. Box 808Morris, Illinois 60450
Telephone: 815-416-1475Fax: 815-416-1476

Senator Sue Rezin
103 Fifth StreetP.O. Box 260Peru, Illinois 61354
Telephone: 815-220-8720Fax: 815-220-8721

Statewide:Governor Pat Quinn,
207 State Capitol Springfield,Illinois 62707
Telephone: 217-782-0244 Fax: 217-524-4049

Chicago Tribune finally notices what is going on at Starved Rock State Park.
Chicago Tribune starved-rock-sand-mine-

Local citizens, farmers and environmentalists fight for the land.

Read the letter from Lt Gov Sheila Simon to Lasalle county board chairman and members, requesting a postponement of Jan 12th 2012 meeting of the board. Scroll down at link for the entire letter.Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon on Starved Rock The Mike Nowak Show

Quote:
BREAKING NEWS: Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is requesting that the LaSalle County Board postpone its decision on whether to allow an open pit sand mine next to Starved Rock State Park. She states, "...the public, including the staff members in my office, should be afforded an opportunity to thoroughly review the public record." This, in the wake of news that only THREE people will be allowed to testify at tomorrow's board meeting. The full letter is posted on my website.
Chicago Tribune Sand mine near Starved Rock State Park gets OK by Lasalle county board today 1-12-12