Saturday, July 5, 2008

I'm Famous!

Well maybe not famous, but as a result of the interview Andy and I did with the journalism students, I was mentioned in an Examiner article by John Curley:
It is about the controversy over weeds and it includes a link to the UC Botanical Garden and to my movie, In the Company of Wild Butterflies. It is nice to get the exposure. And it is nice having someone help me in trying to educate people about weeds.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Raking and Mulching

In a normal garden, people rake up the old dead leaves and put down mulch to discourage weeds from growing. In a butterfly garden, this is not the best approach. Check out the pics. The green chrysalis on the nasturtium leaf is a cabbage white. The brown chrysalis on the dead mallow leaf is a lycenid. Although some caterpillars prefer to pupate on some kind of structure, like under a porch or on a fencepost, some like those in the photos, prefer the leaf litter underneath plants. Raking and mulching makes life difficult or impossible for these butterflies. It also ruins the habitat for many of our native bees which nest in the ground. So although the humans prefer a tidy garden, the insects want a wilder environment. If you can't entirely give up these normal gardening practices, at least try to leave a part of your garden au naturale to give the tiny animals a chance.