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What Are You Doing?

Hoverfly on coyote mint, Anise swallowtail on echinacea, 
Long horn bee on sunflower, Tarweed seedhead
Photos by Kristina Lefever

by Kristina Lefever

The world has changed a lot since our last ​issue of The Pollinator Times. Too many months have gone by with no newsletter .... even though we have been busy buzzing like a-you-know-what​. But ​also distracted​, ​discombobulated, overwhelmed, and stuck​​.

With so many important issues in the world right now, it's hard to know what to do - federal, state, or local, it all needs fixing -- on so many fronts. With the urgent need to DO something, many of you are! COVID, racial injustice, climate change, homelessness, voter rights - all such big issues, and all are needing solutions right now.​

Just as importantly, although perhaps not as obviously so, is protecting pollinators. We hope ​that among the many things you are doing, providing for pollinators is part of the mix in some way. Because everything we do, no matter how small, is making a difference. Perhaps ​you are creating​ or expanding a garden space, or spending time in a garden, or learning about pollinators, or just immersing yourself in the beauty and ​biodiversity that we are blessed with here in this part of the country now called the Rogue Valley. We can only imagine how incredible this place must have been prior to the 1800's, and we gratefully acknowledge and honor the original peoples - Takelma, Shasta, and the many other recognized and unrecognized tribes - who lived and knew these lands in ways that are beyond our modern-day comprehension. So consider: how can we, in our own time, honor both these peoples and this place, and help restore and heal the land?

For those of you creating and enhancing your gardens and landscapes - do your plans include native plants? Because native plants are so important for our native pollinators - did you know that some bee, butterfly and moth species are 'specialists', meaning they depend on certain flowers and/or plants to survive and procreate? The monarch and milkweed relationship is well-known, but there are others. Not only are native pollinators part of the food chain themselves, they are critical to the regeneration of many of our beautiful native plant species - from madrones to huckleberries to camas - that also provide food and habitat for birds and other wildlife. And people too!

We have learned so much from Dr. Doug Tallamy, who has been sharing his message about the importance of native plants for years. Here is just one of his many videos (not to mention books) on the subject. Please keep in mind he is from Delaware, so many of these species he references will not be found here