The Insect Apocalypse Is Here

  • Post published:12/03/2018
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The New York Times Magazine (12-2-2018) article The Insect Apocalypse is Here by Brooke Jarvis reveals to people like me, who rarely pay attention to most insects, that the population of bugs in the world is declining. Some of  us can remember years when driving through the summer nights required hours of cleaning the car windows, removing all the dead bugs. No more. We suddenly realize that particular chore has not been necessary for years. Why not? Some answers…

Greenfield Bee Fest #5

  • Post published:06/02/2015
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The Fifth Annual Bee Fest will be held at the Second Congregational Church on Bank Row in Greenfield on Saturday, June 6 at 10 am.  The event includes the Langstroth Lecture from 10-11 m - honoring the Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth who once served at the church and who discovered 'bee space' and created the modern bee hive with movable frames. There will also be activities for children including a Honey Bee Tea Party and  a Bee Parade through…

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

  • Post published:05/23/2014
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I just learned about Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 19-23) which is almost over, but I did  want to remind everyone about the necessity to watch for EAB damage.  The Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Berkshire County and most recently (Dec. 2013) in Essex County.  I wrote about the EAB in 2012, before it had arrived here.  The US Forest Service has an excellent website about this dangerous pest that can kill ash trees within…

Joe Pye Weed for the Butterflies

  • Post published:08/20/2013
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Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium, is a native plant whose range extends from Texas to Maine. It can be used in perennial flower beds, or allowed to flourish on the roadside or in fields. I planted a small variety in my garden this spring, but I love the 6 foot tall 'weeds' that grow in the fields. I am not successful of getting  photographs of butterflies, but butterflies find lots of nectar in the tiny blossoms of the Joe Pye…

Bringing Nature Home at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/30/2013
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Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, was the keynote speaker at the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Spring Symposium last week. His talk focused on the need for more insects to make our gardens – and the world – healthier and more ecologically balanced. “A mere 1 % [of all insects] interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99 % pollinate plants, return the nutrients tied up in…

Sweet Winter Fare Meal and Event

  • Post published:02/03/2012
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What sweeter way to begin the Winter Fare activities that with a honey brunch at Green Fields Market. Sweet Honey and the Brunch! Sunday, February 5 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Green Fields Market, Main St., Greenfield Green Fields Market will feature local honey in a variety of dishes for this special brunch.   While you enjoy brunch, Shelburne’s Piti Theatre Company will be buzzing with information about their new production about bees (and the challenges they’re facing) To Bee…

Native Alternatives to Invasives

  • Post published:09/04/2010
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“Invasive species have the potential to completely alter habitats, disrupt natural cycles of disturbance and succession, and most importantly, greatly decrease overall biodiversity, pushing rare species to the brink of extinction. Many ecologists now feel that invasive species represent the greatest current and future threat to native plant and animal species worldwide, greater even than human population growth, land development and pollution.” William Cullina of the New England Wildflower Society We do not have to travel far to…

Buzzin’ of the Bees

  • Post published:05/25/2010
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The bumbleebees are buzzin' in the wisteria blossoms, and all kinds of bugs are biting me around my eyes, behind my ears and in the middle of my back where I can swat or scratch. It got so bad that in the heat of the day yesterday, I retired to the house for iced tea and a dip into Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles (Knopf $29.95). I was entranced the first time I picked up this book and began…

While Watching the Snow Fall . . .

  • Post published:02/26/2010
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I've been browsing through the online Creepy Crawlies exhibit of children's books from the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University. These books date as far back as the 1744 edition of Tom Thumb's Pretty Song Book. The Terrible Cockroach by the Russian Kornei Chukovski and illustrated by Sergeii Chekhonin, published in Leningrad 1925, tells the nonsense tale of a threatening cockroach who is so fierce that he terrifies all the animals who are out to enjoy a picnic.…