All these years, I never peaked behind or under the flower, never really paid attention to the unique features of the leaves and how they attach to the stems. But as I looked through the pages, my wildflowers are exactly what the butterflies need.
It got dark too quickly, but morning will come so my camera can fully see these most admired flowers more clearly. An old rose is blooming on the LEAD Agency office fence but the wild roses are blooming in the field and the fence rows. The milkweed by the backdoor and the one near the walnut tree are cousins with unique differences.
The Audubon Society recommends native plants for their resilience and identifies the favorite trees of a number of birds though not all birds nest in trees. Not the barn owls who actually have lived in my barn for perhaps an owl generation or two. The phoebe at my mother's house made a mud nest over the front door that we haven't been able to use in at least 10 years because she or her little ones return and use it again each year. A fellow painted her house and said it was the only time he ever painted around a bird nest since we wouldn't let him remove it!
Birds are getting a lot thrown at them right now as the climate changes and insect species they depend on go extinct and their territorial boundaries shift. Oklahoma University Master's student Heather LePage is doing a study on the swallows nesting in the chat piles. Those birds are dealing with silica and heavy metals found in the chat as well as the water they drink there. All of us can learn more about her study at the National Environmental Conference at Tar Creek September 17-18 at NEO A&M College.
Humans are changing the environment. What we use, what it's made of and how long it lasts. Things I used to do to "Help" birds included putting the dryer lint out along with strings and bits of fabric for birds to pad their nest and maybe even add a bit of color to their surroundings. I don't add dryer lint to their nesting materials any more since understanding the clothes we wear made with polyester or other man-made synthetic fibers breakdown in the washer and go down the drain unrestrained at waste water treatment facilities and become 35% of the micro plastics found in the oceans!
35% of the micro-plastics are from our CLOTHING/Textiles. That is our pollution out there. Straws, plastic bottles and those white plastic sacks are there of course, but what you don't see is there, too and fish are consuming our micro-plastics and we consume the fish.
No one would indulge scoops of plastic by choice and no one knows for sure how what we are consuming will ultimately affect us. The on-going research done both by consumer advocates and by industry oddly give differing opinions. But the little ones, the insects, birds and the fishes may all be the canaries for us on this subject. They can do nothing, but we can make decisions on what we purchase and certainly be more mindful of how we ultimately discard it.
Rain, we have surely had some and the LEAD Agency Community Garden is way behind where we thought we would be by now. But the rains will cease and it will flourish and our Garden Parties will begin on June 6 with Grant Smith performing during his hometown visit.
Rain has my own garden way behind too. But intense rainfall damages crops throughout the Midwest when the flood water recedes the soil may be washed away. As the climate changes the models predict the region will experience even more frequent and intense precipitation events in the coming decades.
We have been treating our soil like dirt. Our gardens and cropland don't need dirt, they require soil which is alive with microorganisms. Soil grows 95% of all the food we eat, so we better start respecting it and quit taking it for granted since it has always been there. Grow your own compost and your garden will thank you. Feed your soil and it will feed you. But mind what you add, the OSU Extension Office can analyze your garden soil and give you a prescription for what you need to add before you over apply and get it loaded with too much phosphorus, which has occurred here in Ottawa County.
I never met Louis Armstrong, but I got to hear him sing What a Wonderful World, and isn't it?
I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim