Monday, October 16, 2017

Bumble Bees and Lady Bugs

Back in mid-September I passed by the Japanese Knotweed as it was in flower and noticed an incredible number of bees attracted to the flowers. The bush was just covered in a swarm of insects. I never knew it was so incredibly popular.

There is just one bunch of invasive Japanese Knotweed in the area; it is along the fence line and the mower that comes by each fall keeps it in check. In terms of invasives, it isn't the worst out there as it rarely produces viable seeds and the most common way for a knew bush to get started is through a piece of root being moved either by humans or by some other natural agency. Dog Strangling Vine is the worst, I had just as much of it to clear this year from the patch at the end of Newhaven as I had in the previous two years, and noticed another patch about 20 meters further along the forest border.

The bird house I put up last fall wasn't a great success this year. I saw a woodpecker check it out and she increased the size of the hole, but she didn't stick around. This fall I made a couple of modifications in hopes that it is more successful next year. I gave the inside of the house a flatter floor, previously I thought it was a good idea to have a sloping floor so that there would be good drainage but perhaps birds want a flat floor for their nests. I also put a new piece of wood over the hole to reestablish the old smaller hole size and added a perch in front. Birds might not need a perch but I figure it might give the house a bit of "curb appeal".


  1. Yes - I've noticed that too! First noticed along Birch (in Manor Park) lots of bees attracted to this autumn flower!

    Sorry to hear about the dog strangling vine - wondering if it spreads by the lawnmowers (NCC, City, etc) I see it alot along bike paths. : (

    (Was volunteering at Fletcher for awhile - clearing it from fields there!)

    I have a bluebird box that I bought from Innis Point Bird Observatory before I realized that you need more open space for bluebirds (which I don't have at home). It looks nice inside my house but it would probably be more useful outside! Let me know if you think it could be used in your area (happy to donate and even happy to help mount - although I've never done it before!).

    - Katherine (aka Urban Girl, D & C blog)

  2. I think mowing does keep DSV in check in the area that is mowed but wont eradicate it. There are areas closer to Ben Franklin park that have DSV along the forest edge but a once yearly mowing keeps them from overtaking the grass as has happened in Fletcher. Perhaps the DSV seeds are spread by the mowers to new areas but the seeds also spread naturally.

    I'm not too picky about what birds come to a box. I'd be happy if a sparrow finds a home. I've never seen blue birds here in the city, but if you want me to find a home for your bird house I'd be happy to.

  3. Exactly - maybe if not a bluebird - maybe another can use? I'm around on the 18th - 19th weekend, happy to drop off and/or help mount. Or we can make plans for next spring! It's really well designed! : ) kifness (at) hotmail (dot) com