Skip to main content

Midwest Native Plant Conference

Logo by Ann Geise

There is unquestionably a growing movement to retore native plants to the landscape. And there are few simpler and more satisfying things that a homeowner can do to beautiful a property and help native wildlife at the same time.

With that in mind, mark your calendars for the first Midwest Native Plant Conference, to be held at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center in Dayton, July 24 - 26, 2009. Registration is open and everything you need to know is RIGHT HERE.

The theme is prairies, and what better way to combat mid-summer's doldrums than come hear bunch of talented and knowledgeable speakers, browse numerous offerings from vendors of native plants, and fraternize with like-minded people.

The Hope Hotel is conveniently situated, not only for travel purposes, but also to scads of prairies and fens. And we'll be having field trips on Sunday to the most interesting of these habitats, all within a short drive of the conference center.

Huffman Prairie, which is almost in sight of the Hope Hotel, as it will look at the time of the conference. The prairie abounds with native flora, and many of these species will be available at the conference. We'll also have several programs on prairies and their restoration. Some of the species evident in the above photo are: Purple Coneflower, Royal Catchfly, Wild Bergamot, and Gray-headed Coneflower. All of these gorgeous plants are easy to grow.

Field trip participants will also be in butterfly-filled habitats at a time when they are teeming with insects. Butterflies and native plants are intimately linked, and there is nothing easier one can do to help declining butterfly populations than plant natives.
GO HERE for the complete scoop, and registration information. Please pass the word about the conference, and I'll hope to see you there.


Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Ballooning spiders

Fear not, ye arachnophobes. The subject of this entry is indeed about spiders, but the star of the show is about as cute as a spider can get. And you'll want to know what we're about to learn...

On my recent West Virginia foray, we were strolling down a seldom-used lane, when a bright yellow object caught our eye. It was a goldenrod crab spider, Misumena vatia, on top of a post! Not only that, she - it is a girl - was acting extraordinarily goofy. The spider would stilt up as high as she could go on her legs, weave back and forth, jig side to side, and otherwise engage in what appeared to be spider break-dancing.

Click the pic for expansion, and you can see two columns of silk issuing from her spinnerets. This is an important point, as we set about determining what this non-web-making spider is doing.

So fixated was our spider on her task that she even rejected what would seem to me to be a perfectly scrumptious meal. This little caterpillar climbed rapidly up the post and dire…