Kate's Blog

Jun 14

Turtle time

When you sit and watch a Snapping Turtle for three hours and wonder whether she’s laying eggs, whether she’s finished laying eggs, whether she cares about your being there watching her, and when, oh, when will she move off so you can cover the nest and protect it from the raccoon mother with two kits waiting at the end of the gravel shoulder.

When you sit and watch a turtle for three hours you kind of lose track of where your sentence is going.

The setting sun catches the edge of three indentations on her shell, indicating she’s a young turtle. The indentations aren’t readily noticeable because the shell is covered with green moss that grows there while she spends most of her life under water. This time on land is a vulnerable time in the life-cycle of a turtle.Read more
Jun 4

The end of the end for the Monarch?

No time to write - plants to plant, weeds to weed, wildlife to watch - but there's an important issue for all of us to reflect and take action on: Chip Taylor, the Kansas University scientist who founded Monarch Watch, has issued a chilling report on the dire situation facing one of our most cherished migrants, the Monarch Butterfly, which is at one fifth of its normal population. 

Below, I am reprinting the KU news release, with links to Chip's information. I have been a member of Monarch Watch for a few years, and have one of his Monarch Waystation signs, to alert Monarchs to the presence of a planting of host and nectar plants. Please plant some milkweed, and urge politicians to ensure milkweed is planted in public spaces like parks and road medians.Read more
May 30

Native plant sale on Saturday

My native plant sale is set for Saturday, two days away, so I’m hard at work getting everything ready – moving the star performers and choice acquisitions into prominent positions and relegating the less sightly (but soon to recover, I hope) to the holding area.

As my property matures, I’m finding my focus is moving away from trees – which is how I started in this business, growing trees from seed and finding I had more seedlings than I had room for – to herbaceous perennials.

That's because I’ve planted most of the trees I want, although I remain on the lookout for the rare and unusual (I would love some Cucumber Magnolia seed). I’m filling in with shrubs because of their immense value for wildlife habitat and food, but now, through my work at Tiny Marsh, where we are undertaking eradication of Garlic Mustard, I'm learning more about what should grow on the forest floor.Read more
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