Month: December 2016

Host Plants for Butterflies

By Stacey Wildberger – January 2017

Everyone has heard about the decline of our most iconic butterfly, the Monarch due to loss of habitat, insecticide use, predation, climate change and a major decline in their host plant-milkweed due to wide spread herbicide use. Milkweed is the only plant a monarch can lay their eggs.  What many people don’t realize is that most butterflies require a specific plant to lay their eggs on. These plants are known as host plants and they provide food for the caterpillar.  While it is important to plant lots of nectar plants for the adult butterfly it is just as important to plant hosts plants for the babies!

Butterflies require several things to raise their young and survive as adults- host plants to lay their eggs, water source for puddling and receiving nutrients and finally nectar plants to sustain themselves in adulthood. We are going to look at the many plants you can add to your gardens to provide a nursery for our Lepidoptera. Read More

These are a Few of My Favorite Books

By: Stacey Wildberger – December 2016

The holidays are coming and you are probably trying to figure out what to get the ecologically-minded people on your list this year.  I have compiled a list of my favorite books for every nature loving conservationist on your list, and for those of you looking to be inspired to action!  Happy Holidays!!

  1. A Sand County Almanac by: Aldo Leopold – “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot” – Aldo Leopold.  I am one who cannot.  As one of the cornerstones of modern conservation, this collection of essays is a must read for not just the conservation minded of us but everyone.  I believe it should be required reading for our young people.  It will truly inspire and ignite a passion for conservationism, a desire to protect that which is natural and a feeling of empowerment that our actions can make a difference.   Aldo Leopold is considered by most to be the father of wildlife management system of the U.S.  He was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer and outdoor enthusiast.  A Sand County Almanac shares stories, triumphs, and failures of the ecological restoration experiment his family embarked on when Leopold bought a worn out farm in Baraboo, Wisconsin: it examines the human relationship to the natural world.  One of the most telling examples of that relationship is the essay Thinking Like A Mountain-it tells of Leopold watching the ‘green fire’ die in the eyes of a wolf and how changed his perspective on wildlife management.  His original feeling was that fewer wolves meant more deer and more deer would be a hunter’s paradise but years later as he reflected on that day he realized that neither the wolf nor the mountain viewed it the same as he witnessed the destruction on the landscape by too many deer.  There should be a balance and harmony between man and nature.

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