Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Pollinators Week!

The North Shore blueberry crop is looking good this year, thanks to the blackflies who got real busy back in early June during the bloom. No wonder I was swatting 'em away when I hiked the Bean and Bear loop this spring and took this picture. Blackflies and Berries go together like Bean and Bear lakes.

The lupine are starting to bloom along the North Shore's Highway 61. Those pretty colors attract tourists, but more importantly, they attract bumblebees, who nuzzle right into the globular petals, schmeering themselves with pollen and passing that gift along to the next patch of lupines down the highway.

Love the elegant shape of the columbine? So do the hummingbirds, whose schnozzes fit the tubes of a columbine just perfectly in their suspended search for the sweet stuff.

Black flies and bumblebees can eat you or sting you. But, as pollinators, they're critical to North Shore ecology, especially for the wildflowers we love.

It's National Pollinators Week! Go hug a hummingbird.


Carolyn said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! Yes, the North Shore was quite delightful! I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked, but it was a nice, quick trip. I too took pictures of the lupines, which I'll post soon.

I am aware that the peregrines have returned to their natural habitats, cliffs, and having them on smoke stacks at power plants, and downtown locations has contributed to their recovery. I've been following the progress of a pair here in La Crosse.

We camped at Two Island Lake. I heard loons! Also, through no deliberate effort, our campsite was right next to a sharp-shin nest. Two of the nestlings, which were now fledged, were flying and calling all around the lake while I visited. Needless to say, I was very delighted!

A wonderful place to visit! I'll have to return.

Andrew Slade said...

Two Island is a lovely campground. I'm not at all surprised about the sharpies nearby; the whole campground feels infiltrated by the wild.

Keep up the good work!