We’ve been excited to once again have migrating rose-breasted grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) in the backyard. These three males seemed quite comfortable feeding among the other birds, including two cardinals.
Spring has finally arrived in Kentucky, and instead of ring-around-the-rosy we have a ring of golden ragwort (Senecio obovatus) around our pin oak tree (Quercus palustris). Last spring I planted several plants in the mulched area around the tree and I’ve been surprised at how quickly they filled the entire area.
I was primarily interested in the dark-green basal leaves that provide an attractive evergreen ground cover. However, the bright golden blossoms of spring are certainly an added bonus. I will continue to use golden ragwort as a year-round ground cover that does especially well in dry shade. However, given its tendency to spread, I will be cautious about planting it with other small plants.
At close range, I find the blossoms quite beautiful and think they deserve a nicer-sounding name than ragwort.
When it has finished blooming and begins to look scraggly, I will cut off the flower stalks and continue to enjoy it as a ground cover. Then next spring I’ll look forward to seeing the green turn to gold again.
Spring is a little late in Kentucky this year, and it was great to finally find wildflowers at Natural Bridge State Resort Park this past weekend. I was glad to see small, easily-overlooked spring beauties (Claytonia virginica). A close-up view of their tiny blossoms does indeed reveal their loveliness.
I’ll be doing a presentation on monarch waystations on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2025 Bellefonte Drive for the Lexington Chapter of Wild Ones (Facebook). Visitors are welcome.
Monarch butterflies are in trouble. Their numbers are the lowest ever recorded and the World Wildlife Fund has declared the monarch migration to be endangered. One way we can help these butterflies is to create monarch waystations – habitats that provide milkweed and nectar plants to encourage monarchs as well as other butterflies and pollinators.
Monarchs are dear to my heart, and I was moved by their story as told in the Flight of the Butterflies documentary movie. I’m very concerned about their survival, and I hope to encourage as many people as possible to provide habitats for them. I’d be glad to see you at the presentation.
Then sun brought resurrection
and two honey bees. Continue reading