I have been hearing the word hope a lot recently. I was so moved by Deepak Chopra’s World Government Summit speech “Hope in the Face of Uncertainty”, that I posted it here on my blog. Shortly after, I came across Caroline Myss’s talk on Hope. “The one thing that makes the unendurable durable is the grace of hope.”
Doug Tallamy, my podcast guest this week, has a new book out. First, I was thrilled that he was able to return to my show as his wisdom, knowledge and experience are needed in the world today. He’s well known in Master Gardener circles as the insect expert. But more than that he reminds us that so many insects are endangered and when they go every critter up the food chain suffers. And we are experiencing some of that today. Doug and I danced around the feeling of gloom and doom. The stats aren’t that positive. We sought to bring hope into the discussion.
His message and research is: our ownership of land, all that surrounds our home, can be put to better use for wildlife. Remember not only are our pollinators suffering but soil decomposers are missing too. So what can we do?
- Look at your lawn. what part can you let go of? Two feet of wildflowers instead of lawn makes a huge difference in your yard and your neighbourhood. If you can take more lawn away, go for it!
- Compost table scraps if you can.
- Plant more…more flowers to attract butterflies, moths, insects that help feed other critters. Nurseries are getting ready to open here in the NE and their spring stock arrives daily. They are a great resource for any questions you might have concerning which flowers/plants could work best for you.
- Don’t forget the trees. One oak tree supports so much wildlife. Can you look into the Arbor Day Foundation? For a small donation, they can send you saplings or buy trees of your choice for your geographic region. Consider buying some for your town.
Speaking for myself, how can I keep hope alive that somehow we are taking actions that will make a difference in the long run?
One garden at the same time can make a difference. Today, look at your yard differently and if you own a business look at the property differently. What can you do to make a difference today? February and March, here in the NE we tend to drool over catalogues and dream of spring. We simply can’t wait to get back into the dirt. Add more wildflowers. They are so easy to manage. Look for a way to plant a tree. Remember, dwarfs, work in small areas.
” You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” (Michelle Obama)
For the sake of our planet and all her species and realms Go. Seize. The. Day. Judith
Description: Doug Tallamy is back! An author and educator, Entomologist, and Wildlife Ecologist. Doug teaches at the University of Delaware. His new book, Nature’s Best Hope, was released in February 2020. No one likes the doom and gloom yet we are facing some very serious ecological issues. Nature has solutions and if we pay attention today, improve our own yards with sustainable plants and growth we can make a difference.
About My Guest: Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 89 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 36 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Doug is also a regular columnist for Garden Design magazine. Doug is a Lifetime Honorary Director of Wild Ones and has won the Garden Club of America, Margaret Douglas Medal, for Conservation, the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence, and the 2018 AHS 2018 B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.
Native Plant Finder on the National Wildlife Federation Website.
Transcript: #74 #74 Doug Tallamy
Description: So many of us are concerned about the declining Monarch populations. What can we do to stem the tide of their possible extinction? Montreal Canada Insectarium has an ongoing program, Mission Monarch, that is part of an international research and education effort aimed at saving the migratory populations of this endangered species. Our monarch butterfly populations are severely depleted and struggling. This program encourages citizens to be a part of the documenting process. Why? Listen in as Andre Phillippe describes their mission, how citizens are helping and what can we do to save this precious species.
Go to missionmonarch.org for more details.
About My guest: André-Philippe Drapeau Picard is the coordinator of Mission Monarch, a citizen science program run by the Montréal Insectarium at Espace pour la vie. He completed a masters degree in biology at Laval University, Quebec City, where he studied insects and spiders in peatlands. The Mission Monarch team at the Insectarium collaborates with scientists in NGOs and governments in Canada, Mexico, and the United States to raise awareness and inform actions for monarch conservation.
Insectarium de Montréal | Espace pour la vie
T. 514 872-0659 / F 514 872-0662
L’Insectarium est fermé jusqu’à l’été 2021.
Adresse temp oraire :
Maison de l’arbre | Espace pour la vie
4500, boulevard Rosemont, Montréal, Québec H1X 2B1
Transcript: #70 Andre Philippe Drapeau-Picard
I couldn’t resist this video. The photographer shares his lifetime of work capturing pollinators on film. He reminds us that when we see something that is beautiful and touches our heart we are more apt to care for it. My podcasts seek to remind us that we are nature and what we see in nature is in us, whether looking for a medical cure, protecting pollinators, looking for solutions to climate changes, or social changes. It’s all there if we look more deeply and let nature guide us more. Let’s “get out of our cleverness”, says Janine Benyus, co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute and open our hearts to more compassion for nature’s intelligence. This short film is spectacular and inspiring. Please share and comment. It’s always appreciated.
My podcast guest this week, Vicki Wojcik, program director at the pollinator partnership reminds me that pollinators are losing their habitat. It doesn’t take much to bring them back. “If you plant it they will come.” Pollinators are diverse species that are often specialists and need specific plants to thrive. What new plants are you adding this spring? Do they favor pollinators? Don’t forget to check their regional guide too. I recommend you visit their site for more detailed information.
Enjoy spring. Judith
Description: Pollinators are ecosystems service providers. We know they are hurting from the loss of habitat. When they disappear, become extinct they are gone for good. So many of them are endangered today of becoming extinct. So what can we do? “Build it and they will come!” Vicki reminds us that every garden plot contributes to habitat, food, water, and shelter. Everything basic they need we need too. So, can you help our pollinators and add more flowers, shrubs, trees? I hope so. Check out Pollinator.org for regional planting guides for suggestions.
About My Guest: Vicki’s interest in pollinators was sparked during her undergraduate days with the opportunity to travel to Brazil to participate in a field course in pollinator ecology field research course in Brazil and has continued ever since. Her graduate research focused on understanding how native bees use habitats in cities. This focus on pollinators in human-dominated landscapes has continued throughout her career and has grown to include agricultural lands, industrial lands, and the impacts of climate change. Vicki is currently the Research Director at Pollinator Partnership she oversees the research program, keeping on top of new and emerging pollinator issues.
Transcript: Vicki Wojcik
I am deeply honored to have the pleasure of interviewing Gunther Hauk again this week. His wisdom, his experience as a biodynamic farming expert and honeybee expert make him one of our true elders.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary, in Floyd VA, a few years ago. I lived near Culpeper, VA at the time and got up early to make the 5-hour road trip so I could arrive by 9:30 am. After introductions, Gunther, of course, puts all volunteers to work and we got an assignment. We seeded an additional wildflower area for the bees. We harvested weeds for the compost pile, all accomplished in a light misty rain. He hoped for an opportunity for me to experience a swarm, but not that day. We ended the morning with stimulating conversation and lunch.
I felt honored to be a part of their workday. The folks I met deeply cared for and respected the honeybee species in particular but also nature in all its complexity. I recorded my experiences here. Go to my blog post: Beauty and the Bees: https://www.judithdreyer.com/gardens/beauty-and-the-bees/ for more.
Needless to say, I had much to ponder on the ride home. I hoped to capture something of the essence of their efforts through my writing. When the podcast series began I thought of Gunther and I am so grateful for his time and sharing over this past year.
Today though I want to share something about pollinators. Pollinators are more than honeybees. The Polliantor.org site says this:
- “More than 1,000 of all pollinators are vertebrates such as birds, bats, and small mammals. Most (more than 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths and bees.
- In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
- Monarch butterflies have declined by 90% in the last 20 years.
- 25% of bumble bees species are thought to be in serious decline.”
I found this great offer from the pollinator.org site. They have planting guides for all types of ecoregional climates. I happen to be in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest area. The guides are colorful with great tables and resource information. I highly recommend them.
What can we do today?
- Donate to your favorite nature organization. Support their work. Pick a local one like a land trust and one national. Spikenard Farm and Honey Bee Sanctuary and Pollinator.org rely on donations to continue the great work they are doing. “The Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.”
- Buy Heirloom and organic seeds. There are so many great companies, often local, such as Truelove Seeds ( my podcast guest 2 weeks ago) to buy from and support.
- Plant pollinator-friendly plants, add more if you can.
- Consider replacing lawn with more natural foliage that supports our pollinators. At the Garden’s Gate has a practical chapter on how to do so.
- Start a seed saving bank at your local library.
- Learn about one new beneficial bug. Learn to properly identify it, its habitat, how it mates, what it needs for food and where it fits in with its local ecosystem. For me, I am going to learn more about praying mantis.
What critter will you choose? Let me know. I enjoy all your comments and stories.
Please share. Thanks again. Judith