Monday, June 12, 2017

What has happened?

The photo of my orange butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) and blue speedwell (Veronica spicata) look lovely together,  but this is not a complete picture of nature in action. It's a sunny, hot 95F/35C mid afternoon, perfect for nectar gathering, but there are no bees!

I am very concerned; looking around the garden there are no carpenter bees, mason bees, or European honey bees, only a few tiny Missouri bees and two Japanese beetles. My organic garden is bee-less, and I see none in my clover filled lawn either.

Another absence I have noted are the American goldfinches and House Finches. Normally, they are eating thistle seed from the sock feeder and I am filling it weekly. I have seen only one pair of American goldfinches briefly, and a single house finch. I have watched these birds for years and they are big eaters, usually lining up on nearby bushes to get their opportunity to eat at the sock feeder, but this year there are NONE! My feeder is still full from when I hung it out in May.

Two blocks from here an 88acre green space was leveled, topsoil scraped off, a creek rerouted underground into culverts, along with all the mature and dead trees removed, cut down and dug out. Literally the site was stripped, no more osage orange trees, turtles, or fox... making way for huge development of $250,000-&500,000 homes with sterile sodded lots and non-diverse sapling plantings. I am sure that this loss of local habitat has contributed to the noticeable loss of wildlife. Bees nest in dead trees, or underground and destruction of these environments reduce the priceless biodiversity within a community. I have no answer to give to city governments who justify this development as a way to increase their tax base to benefit citizens, myself included.  Yet, I am at a loss as to how to rebound from the elimination of this diverse ecosystem, that also benefited citizens. I have planted gardens to feed and support the bees, birds and butterflies, but if they do not come to my garden table to dine, maybe I have done nothing at all to help preserve them.

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