Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter begins at World Peace Wetland Prairie peace circle on December 21, 2012

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE.
Native species of tall grass feeds beneficial insects and migrating birds

Nature's morning Christmas lights
Native honeysuckle leaves and empty milkweed seedpods combine winter beauty and promise of spring flowers and butterflies

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gulf fritillary appears from chrysalis Dec. 3, 2012

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Gulf fritillary butterflies emerging on warm days in December face a long flight to get far enough south to overwinter

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today: 2 p.m. at Town Center

Arkansas' Stand for the Children of Syria in Fayetteville

Say hello these beautiful people tomorrow--they've been working tirelessly to put on this event--the Arkansas Stand for the Children of Syria, taking place Saturday Nov 17. And a grateful shout-out to ALL who've volunteered to help in tons of ways!
(We are SO gonna beat the Dallas Walk, everyone--they think we're small; they just don't know how much heart and spirit we've got going here. Whoops--back to the focus: the children. The children.)
See you at the Town Center plaza on Mountain Street in Fayetteville at 2pm!
Unlike ·  ·  · 11 hours ago

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Longtime public-outreach coordinator reveals true differences between Mayor Lioneld Jordan and his predecessor

Published in the NWA Times today, beautifully written by Julie McQuade:
In Fayetteville, we are about to choose whether to keep the current mayor, Lioneld Jordan, or bring back a past mayor, Dan Coody. I’ve had the unique opportunity to work for both men for approximately 3 years in each administration.
I want to share the lessons I learned through personal experiences in each mayor’s administration. The differences say a lot about the integrity and leadership qualities of each.
During Coody’s administration the lessons I learned were:
  1. My job was more about “spin” than real communication.
  2. An item that passed at City Council without any discussion was a win.
  3. If an issue was mentioned in an editorial, you expected to spend many hours covering the mayor’s position and also expected a city staffer to be the fall guy, if it reflected negatively on the mayor.
  4. Whatever the mayor promised in public, staff had to find a way to make it happen, regardless of legality or ethics.
  5. City staff survived only through keeping their heads down and covering their rears, at all costs.
  6. An expensive plan or program by outside consultants was more important than local community input. Financial feasibility or possibilities of implementation did not matter at all, as long as the mayor got impressive awards.
During Jordan’s administration the lessons I learned were:
  1. My job was communication and facilitating opportunities for everyone to get involved in city decisions.
  2. The mayor wanted many discussions, differing opinions, and wide-spread input on an item before developing a proposal for City Council and he encouraged continued discussion with the City Council.
  3. If an issue was mentioned in an editorial, expect to spend time getting the mayor all the relevant facts on the issue. If an issue was controversial, the mayor would give the City Council the opportunity to discuss and make a decision, rather than try to sweep it under the rug, even though he knew some would be unhappy with the decision the City Council would have to make.
  4. As staff, you could trust that the mayor would never compromise the legality or ethics of the city administration or city staff .
  5. As staff, the mayor was your biggest supporter. He would do his best to get you the recognition and compensation deserved.
  6. Several aspects were weighed before considering a project/ program/plan; financial feasibility, possibility of implementation, the long-term costs, return-on-investment, sustainability and the whole-community impact/involvement.
Admittedly I was a supporter of Coody before 2008. I did not know Jordan, and used to justify my supporting Coody by stating, “As politicians go, he isn’t too bad.” Then I got the privilege of getting to know Jordan and working with him. When I’m asked about my support of Jordan, I now say, “He is a good, honest man who happened to get elected to office.” Jordan isn’t a politician. You can trust what he says, whether you agree with him or not.
All hail and many thanks to Julie, for setting the record straight!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lonicera sempervirens on Oct. 29, 2012, before frost struck World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE.
This native trumpet honeysuckle vine has produced flowers in almost every month of 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tussock moth caterpillar and Monarch caterpillar share breakfast of Milkweed vine

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE photos of milk vine with both Tussock moth and Monarch butterfly caterpillars found at Trycycle Farm in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on 22 Sept. 2012.

Article below from Iowa State University extension service on Milkweed and the insects that use it.

The Milkweed Insects

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed
Note to media editors: Garden Column for the week of July 29, 2005


By Donald R. Lewis
Extension Entomologist
Iowa State University

Plants can be interesting, especially if you enjoy seeing them eaten by insects. One of the fascinating features is the incredible diversity of insects that can feed on one kind of plant. Our understandable obsession with a few serious insect pests on a relatively small number of crop plants skews our view of the insect/plant relationships around us. Most of life, especially the insect world, is much more complex than we realize or admit.
For example, if you were asked to name an insect that eats the common milkweed plant, you would probably name the one that is “in the news” as they say. The well known orange-black-and-white butterfly called the monarch develops from caterpillars that survive on milkweed foliage and no where else.
The monarch butterfly is just the tip of the ecological iceberg. A study of milkweeds by Patrick Dailey of Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey, Ill., reported an astonishing 457 different kinds of insects found on milkweed plants. Some of these were eating the foliage, stems or roots and some were visiting the flowers for nectar and/or pollen, but many were considered temporary visitors, proving that even with insects, everyone has to be somewhere.
Common Pests of Common Milkweed
Milkweeds are native, perennial plants named for the white, milky juice that exudes from broken or cut leaves and stems. Milkweeds are found throughout the United States in open, sunny areas. The common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) has broad, leathery leaves oppositely arranged on stalks 3 to 5 feet tall.  Brownish-purple flowers form a dome-like cluster at the top of the plant and give way to warty seed-pods in late summer, each containing hundreds of tiny seeds attached to a silky tuft of fuzz.
You would have to look at milkweeds for a long time to find 457 different kinds of insects. But with just an occasional inspection of a cluster of milkweeds in your garden, fence row or roadside you should be able to find the following four common species.
Monarch butterfly caterpillars may not be the most abundant insects on milkweed but they are the best known. Monarch caterpillars start out very small after emerging from pin-head sized eggs laid on the leaves by female butterflies. They have alternating yellow, white and black rings around the body and a pair of long, thin, black tubercles at the front and rear. Caterpillars take 2 weeks or more to grow to 2 inches and then they perform the magic of metamorphosis, transforming from ugly caterpillars into pretty butterflies.
The Rest of the Lot
When you examine milkweeds in late summer you may find another kind of caterpillar eating the leaves. Unlike the monarch where there is rarely more than one caterpillar per plant, the milkweed tussock moth larvae feed in clusters of 10 or more.  These communal caterpillars are also orange, black and white, but where the monarch caterpillars are hairless, tussock moth caterpillars are nothing but hair. There are several long tufts of black hair at the ends and along the lower sides of the body and six pairs of bright orange tufts stick awkwardly upward in the middle. Caterpillars are fully grown at only one inch. There are two generations each summer.
The appropriately named red milkweed beetle is the most common of many beetles that feed on milkweeds. These attractive insects are slightly more than one-half inch long and red with 11 black spots scattered along the back. The red milkweed beetle larvae live in milkweed roots from late summer until the following July. Adults aggregate on leaves and flowers and are very common in the second half of the summer.
Finally, while examining the milkweed plant for insects, look closely at the stems and undersides of the leaves, especially at the top of the plant. There you are likely to find milkweed aphids.  There are at least four common species of aphids on milkweed, but the most frequently observed is the yellow milkweed aphid. Large colonies of mixed sizes of these brilliant yellow insects are common. Look closer. Some aphids have wings, most don’t, and there may be ants tending the aphids.
So what does all this mean to the milkweeds? Probably not much, though large numbers of predators eating leaves, stems, flowers and roots of plants might help regulate weed populations. Not that I’ve noticed much decrease in my neighborhood. Are insects on milkweed a problem? Not unless you are trying to raise milkweeds!

Contacts :
Donald Lewis, Entomology, (515) 294-1101,
Jean McGuire, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-7033,
Photo suitable for printing
Monarch butterfly on common milkweed,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

America in Bloom national symposium and award ceremony Thursday through Saturday in Fayetteville AR: Please use live links and click on images on page to enlarge for easy reading

2012 Symposium and Awards

Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the progressive spirit in Fayetteville makes it a great place to live, work, and play. It has been recognized as one of the best places to live in America. Much of Fayetteville’s success is due to its participation in America in Bloom for the past 11 years.

The America in Bloom Symposium & Awards program offers the opportunity for you to see Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas from the inside out. You can walk in the paths of the community’s past, learn about its innovative environmental efforts, witness commitment to quality landscapes, and experience the newest cultural addition, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. You will be able to talk with Northwest Arkansas mayors who are facing different challenges leading their cities, and meet some environmental and horticultural experts. Experience the Farmer’s Market and the crazy enthusiasm for all that is Razorback!

Fayetteville is a fun and unique mix of cool college town, thriving business community, outdoor lovers’ haven, and cultural arts center. We can’t wait for you to experience Fayetteville and discover “Ozark Red, White & Blooms.”

Click here to download a PDF of the 2012 AIB Symposium & Awards brochure.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Swamp milkweed in bloom scarce on September 14, 2012, because of the draught

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of swamp milkweed flowers in light rain on September 14, 2012.
Asclepias incarnata usually plentiful at World Peace Wetland Prairie this time of year

Friday, September 7, 2012

Immediately west of World Peace Wetland Prairie on September 7, 2012, a lull in a powerful thunderstorm brought a pair of foxes out of the Rochier Heights hillside forest (the dry prairie on top is now a construction site with its natural soil and dry-prairie native plants nearly all removed)

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE. Please scroll down to see a few close ups through a handheld point and shoot camera with a pretty good zoom lens, considering the wind was almost knocking it out of my hand and the autofocus was getting less and less effective as the battery ran down.