2011 September

My name is Chuck Melvin, I am 77 years old and I have Parkinson’s Disease. My wife, Marsha, and I would appreciate you telling your friends about this website. You can help Marsha and me when you purchase from our Amazon affiliate.and        links. Thank you.Butterfly Items Available for Purchase                                Written by Chuck MelvinYour yard can provide a safe haven for local and migrating butterflies. We would like to share how we increased the Butterfly population in our neighborhood. There are two different projects for your yard: One is to provide butterfly food (nectar plants) to attract the local butterflies andsecondly is planting host plants to provide a place for butterflies to lay their eggs and food for the caterpillars when they hatch. Careful planning can make these fun, inexpensive projects. One way to save money is to start cuttings for the host plants. This can be as simple as putting a cutting in water and waiting for it to root. We started passion vines for Gulf Fritillary butteries. Marsha has hatched over one hundred Gulf Fritillaries and ten Viceroy butterflies this year. She provides details in the Butterfly Nursery post. We start host plant seeds in small containers so we can plant them exactly where we want. Monarchs need milkweed plants all along their migration route. Starting milkweed early in the spring will insure you have places for Monarchs to feed and lay eggs as they travel. Planting milkweed continuously will provide fresh leaves for caterpillars. While host plants are specific to certain butterfly caterpillars, nectar plants can attract many different butterflies. Host plants should be about 30% of the plants in your yard. Select the ones that will attract local butterflies to your yard to lay their eggs. These plants will bring a flutter of butterflies to your yard. You will have to be aware of how much sun and shade are in your yard to make the best selection of plants. You will probably have to do some preparation, weeding, tilling and adding compost to get your yard ready. Your local nursery will be able to help you with your selection and lay out of plants. Your local nursery can also, provide native plants that will attract regional butterflies. The host plants will provide food and a nursery area for the caterpillars and the nectar plants will provide food for the butterflies that hatch in your yard or nursery and for the locals. Start host plants early in spring to provide leaves for butterflies to lay eggs and for the new caterpillars to munch on. Try to select a variety of nectar plants that will bloom spring through fall, so you will always have butterflies visiting your yard. You are in for a pleasant surprise as you will roll out the welcome mat for butterflies. After planting nectar plants, we got delightful surprise; the plants not only drew butterflies, but hummingbirds, also. These beautiful little flying jewels share the flowers with the butterflies and provide us with hours of entertainment. Be aware that some of the host and nectar plants are considered weeds and others are considered “people food”. You need to make special provisions for the “weeds” so they don’t run wild. Special preparation of your yard We searched on Google and found where we could get free Compost and Mushroom Farm dirt. We hauled a truck-load each with our 1983 Ford F250. Its muffler doesn’t, so the neighbors knew when to come and get the rich dirt for their yards. Cheap Water – I started a shallow well but haven’t finished it yet because I am devoting full time to completing work on this blog. I advertised for a well pump in the local paper and located two for $50. The seller threw in two brass well points for free. If you like our website, please enter your comments in the area provided. This will allow for links between your website and ours and strengthen both our sites. Attracting Butterflies BooksThe books in this section tell you what plants, vines, shrubs and trees will attract not only Butterflies, but Hummingbirds and other wild life to your yard. Some Butterflies will only use one specific plant for laying their eggs, but get nectar from many different sources. Planting plants and trees native to your area will attract the locals. Leave one section of your yard “wild” rather than laying sod, will encourage critters to come visit.Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Watch Your Garden Come Alive With Beauty on the WingAuthor Sally Roth Review“Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Backyard is another inspiring example of Sally Roth’s work and dedication to backyard nature activities. Her knowledge and persentation in this book are outstanding!”–Bill and Mary Kay Benner, owners of WildBirdsForever.com “Gardeners who follow Sally Roth’s advice are sure to fill their gardens with a rainbow of wings. Sally offers a multitiude of fun and inexpensive gardening plans and projects that will entice hummers and butterflies alike.”–Rick Mikula, author of The Family Butterfly Book and Garden Butterflies of North America Product DescriptionRoll out the welcome mat for butterfles and hummingbirds. Attracting Butterfles and Hummingbirds to Your Backyard reveals the secrets for creating irresistible gardens and a welcoming landscape, which will lure these amazing creatures up close and personal for your enjoyment and wonder. Author Sally Roth knows the best plants, feeders, and water features that appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds, plus she offers an entertaining and insightful guide to butterfly and hummingbird behavior. From the Back CoverRoll out the welcome mat for butterfles and hummingbirds. Attracting Butterfles and Hummingbirds to Your Backyard reveals the secrets for creating irresistible gardens and a welcoming landscape, which will lure these amazing creatures up close and personal for your enjoyment and wonder. Author Sally Roth knows the best plants, feeders, and water features that appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds, plus she offers an entertaining and insightful guide to butterfly and hummingbird behavior. “Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds to Your Backyard is another inspiring example of Sally Roth’s work and dedication to backyard nature activities. Her knowledge and persentation in this book are outstanding!”–Bill and Mary Kay Benner, owners of WildBirdsForever.com “Gardeners who follow Sally Roth’s advice are sure to fill their gardens with a rainbow of wings. Sally offers a multitiude of fun and inexpensive gardening plans and projects that will entice hummers and butterflies alike.”–Rick Mikula, author of The Family Butterfly Book and Garden Butterflies of North America.National Wildlife Federation Attracting Birds, Butterflies & Backyard WildlifeAuthor David Mizejewski From Publishers WeeklyIn this handsome book, Mizejewski, manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program, offers a short guide to creating gardens and yards that promote ecological balance and provide natural habitats for a wide variety of wildlife—birds, butterflies, toads, snakes, bats, bees and necessary predators such as spiders, beetles, owls and hawks. In uncomplicated text accompanied by stunning photographs, he suggests native plants that can be used to attract birds and butterflies and gives simple instructions for family projects—creating attractive bird feeders and stocking them with food; building nesting boxes for birds, butterflies and bats, and houses for frogs, toads and salamanders; making and maintaining birdbaths, drinking areas, ponds and wetland habitats. The most valuable parts of the book are those in which Mizejewski emphasizes the importance of using native plants to maintain the mutual relationships that plants, animals and other living organisms have developed over the millennia and explains how exotic imports can disrupt this balance. His lists of desirable native plants and undesirable exotics are far from comprehensive, but he directs the reader to Web sites where further information is available. The text is brief, but with its 170 color photos, it provides a good starting point for homeowners who want to create attractive natural habitats. The book concludes with instructions for registering wildlife-friendly gardens with the National Wildlife Federation as official Backyard Wildlife Habitat sites.  Review“With beautiful photographs, this book is extremely useful and accessible. It’s a must for anyone interested in increasing the diversity of life in outdoor spaces.”-Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the U.S. Botanical Garden. Winner of the Publishers Marketing Association’s Ben Franklin Award. “To create your own backyarde habitat, you will need no other guide than this book. It is full of practical ideas, clever projects and delighful photographs.”-Valerie Kelsey, President of the National Gardening Association. “…is an excellent book for beginners…” Daily Record(York, PA) Mar 23, 2007 “extensive information on attracting birds, butterflies and sundry creatures to your little piece of paradise.” “The purpose of this book is to teach the reader how to restore or create a wildlife habitat in his/her own yard…” “The projects described are fundamental and elementary, suited for family participation.” “This is a very helpful book for someone who wishes to enhance his/her landscape as a means of attracting wildlife.” Epinions.com (Brisbane, CA) Mar 21, 2007 “…an excellent book….offering plenty of basic advice about providing the four basic needs of wildlife…lots of helpful advice…” Washington Post January 7, 2006 “It is full of practical how-to information to make your yard a wildlife haven…” Daily Progress (Jacksonville, TX) June 05, 2007 “…hundreds of ideas for landscaping that works for people and wildlife, as well as many easy projects to do with children.” Daily JournalProduct DescriptionA backyard can come alive by creating an environment with plants and spaces that attract nature’s most interesting and friendly creatures. Colorful butterflies, uplifting songbirds, and lively toads can enhance the personal garden space, giving pleasure to nature lovers of all ages. National Wildlife Federation’s® Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife provides over a dozen step-by-step projects for families to do together, making getting back to nature easy, educational, and fun. Book DescriptionA backyard can come alive by creating an environment with plants and spaces that attract nature’s most interesting and friendly creatures. Colorful butterflies, uplifting songbirds, and lively toads can enhance the personal garden space, giving pleasure to nature lovers of all ages. National Wildlife Federation’s® Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife provides over a dozen step-by-step projects for families to do together, making getting back to nature easy, educational, and fun.From the Publisher Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife shows homeowners how to fill their yards and gardens with the sights and sounds of nature. Author David Mizewjewski presents simple plans for reintroducing native plants that birds, butterflies, and a whole host of critters can’t resist. He also shows ways of supplementing nature to further entice wildlife to yards and gardens. -170 photos of backyard wildlife habitats and the creatures they attract -17 fun projects that the whole family can enjoy -Tips for obtaining certification of your backyard habitat in the NWF’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat programFrom the Back CoverNWF Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife shows homeowners how to fill their yards and gardens with the sights and sounds of nature. Author David Mizejewski presents simple plans for reintroducing native plants that birds, butterflies, and a whole host of critters can’t resist. He also shows ways of supplementing nature to further entice wildlife to yards and gardens. • 170 photos of backyard wildlife habitats and the creatures they attract • 17 fun projects that the whole family can enjoy • Tips for obtaining certification of your backyard habitat in the NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program About the AuthorDavid Mizejewski, of Arlington, VA, has worked as a naturalist at nature centers in Georgia and Virginia. He is currently the manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat program, which teaches people how to provide habitat for wildlife in their yards, gardens, and neighborhoods. Garden Butterflies of North America: A Gallery of Garden Butterflies & How to Attract Them Author Rick Mikula and Claudia Mikula  From BooklistMikula, author of Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Garden, offers readers a study of 40 North American butterflies, including swallowtails, brushfoots, whites, sulphurs, skippers, heliconians, blues, hairstreaks, and crescents. Mikula gives details on habitat, diet, size, color (including the color of eggs, caterpillars, and pupa), migration, flight, and mating habits. Included are a color photograph of each butterfly and a list of plants and flowers that attract it. There are chapters on life cycles and on creating a garden to attract butterflies, including a region-by-region list of food and cover plants to entice them and a list of herbs and the butterflies they attract. There is also a guide to the most popular gardens and zoos where butterflies can be studied. The Nature Book Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Organic Gardening book clubs will feature Garden Butterflies as one of their selections. George Cohen –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.ReviewFor most people, the mention of butterflies immediately evokes an image of delicate beauty, even if we know little about them. Fortunately, Rick Mikula takes our comprehension of the lovely lepidoptera a bit further in his book, Garden Butterflies of North America: A Gallery of Garden Butterflies & How to Attract Them. The various types of butterflies common to North America are explored, along with methods for inviting them into our own backyards. Mikula provides a brief history of the butterfly, explodes the myth of a “butterfly season” (some species hibernate) and discusses man’s fascination with them through the ages. Various Northern species are examined, as are their eating habits and life cycles, the flowers that attract them, the climate they prefer and other intriguing patterns. A thorough profile is provided for each butterfly, with a list of suggested plants to grow for attracting them to the home garden. Garden Butterflies of North America is as absorbing in content as it is pleasing to the eye, and provides a better understanding and deeper appreciation for these winged creatures. — From Independent Publisher –This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Product Description The successful Garden Butterflies of North America is now available in a softcover edition, making the vivid color portfolio of 40 of North America’s most treasured and colorful garden butterfly varieties more affordable. Each of the individual butterflies is beautifully photographed in large-format, four-color images that are accompanied by natural history vignettes of the species and information on how to attract them. Illustrated instructions on how to design and manage gardens and backyards to attract butterflies comprises the remainder of the text. Numerous charts and plans for all types of gardens, from a container garden to a full-sized formal garden, specific details on plants that attract butterflies, how-to diagrams for building a butterfly hibernating box, and water sources such as ponds, fountains, mud baths, and waterless ponds are also included. Rick Mikula is the founder of the Hole-In-Hand Butterfly Farm where he’s been breeding and selling butterflies in seven greenhouses since 1980. His work has been profiled in People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and on the Discovery Channel. In addition, Mikula serves as the butterfly habitat consultant for many universities, zoos, museums, and aviaries. About the AuthorRick Mikula is the founder of the Hole-In-Hand Butterfly Farm where he’s been breeding and selling butterflies in seven greenhouses since 1980. His work has been profiled in People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and on the Discovery Channel. In addition, Mikula serves as the butterfly habitat consultant for many universities, zoos, museums, and aviaries. Garden Butterflies of North America: A Gallery of Garden Butterflies & How to Attract Them Author Rick Mikula and Claudia Mikula  From BooklistMikula, author of Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Butterfly Garden, offers readers a study of 40 North American butterflies, including swallowtails, brushfoots, whites, sulphurs, skippers, heliconians, blues, hairstreaks, and crescents. Mikula gives details on habitat, diet, size, color (including the color of eggs, caterpillars, and pupa), migration, flight, and mating habits. Included are a color photograph of each butterfly and a list of plants and flowers that attract it. There are chapters on life cycles and on creating a garden to attract butterflies, including a region-by-region list of food and cover plants to entice them and a list of herbs and the butterflies they attract. There is also a guide to the most popular gardens and zoos where butterflies can be studied. The Nature Book Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Organic Gardening book clubs will feature Garden Butterflies as one of their selections. George Cohen –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.ReviewFor most people, the mention of butterflies immediately evokes an image of delicate beauty, even if we know little about them. Fortunately, Rick Mikula takes our comprehension of the lovely lepidoptera a bit further in his book, Garden Butterflies of North America: A Gallery of Garden Butterflies & How to Attract Them. The various types of butterflies common to North America are explored, along with methods for inviting them into our own backyards. Mikula provides a brief history of the butterfly, explodes the myth of a “butterfly season” (some species hibernate) and discusses man’s fascination with them through the ages. Various Northern species are examined, as are their eating habits and life cycles, the flowers that attract them, the climate they prefer and other intriguing patterns. A thorough profile is provided for each butterfly, with a list of suggested plants to grow for attracting them to the home garden. Garden Butterflies of North America is as absorbing in content as it is pleasing to the eye, and provides a better understanding and deeper appreciation for these winged creatures. — From Independent Publisher –This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Product Description The successful Garden Butterflies of North America is now available in a softcover edition, making the vivid color portfolio of 40 of North America’s most treasured and colorful garden butterfly varieties more affordable. Each of the individual butterflies is beautifully photographed in large-format, four-color images that are accompanied by natural history vignettes of the species and information on how to attract them. Illustrated instructions on how to design and manage gardens and backyards to attract butterflies comprises the remainder of the text. Numerous charts and plans for all types of gardens, from a container garden to a full-sized formal garden, specific details on plants that attract butterflies, how-to diagrams for building a butterfly hibernating box, and water sources such as ponds, fountains, mud baths, and waterless ponds are also included. Rick Mikula is the founder of the Hole-In-Hand Butterfly Farm where he’s been breeding and selling butterflies in seven greenhouses since 1980. His work has been profiled in People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and on the Discovery Channel. In addition, Mikula serves as the butterfly habitat consultant for many universities, zoos, museums, and aviaries. About the AuthorRick Mikula is the founder of the Hole-In-Hand Butterfly Farm where he’s been breeding and selling butterflies in seven greenhouses since 1980. His work has been profiled in People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and on the Discovery Channel. In addition, Mikula serves as the butterfly habitat consultant for many universities, zoos, museums, and aviaries. The Wildlife Habitat Journal – Restoring and Exploring Wildlife Habitat in Your Own BackyardAuthor Betsy S. Franz  Product Description This informative book provides easy steps that every homeowner can take to help restore wildlife habitat in their own backyards while keeping a journal to record their progress.From the PublisherOwning a home has long been the American Dream. But with that dream comes a huge responsibility. Since development is seen as one of the greatest factors contributing to the extinction of wildlife on this planet, the term “home ownership” now needs to carry with it the added role of “habitat ownership.” Every homeowner, whether their home was built last week or decades ago, can share in this role by focusing on their own share of the environment. All it takes is for each property owner to make a few simple changes to help in restoring wildlife habitat in their own yard. Something as simple as planting a native tree for local bird nesting, creating a butterfly garden or choosing to leave a small corner of a yard native instead of opting for 100% lawn helps to restore some of the wildlife habitat that was displaced by a home. As development continues, these preserved habitat areas will become more and more important as safe havens for displaced wildlife. As more and more people begin to accept their role in environmental stewardship, habitat areas will go from being distant oases to nearby stepping stones to connected paths for animals to traverse across an increasingly developed landscape. Can taking care of “your own share” of the environment really make a difference? Some people think it is naive to believe that creating an environmentally friendly landscape will make a difference. But the truth is it is naive to think that it won’t. If each resident planted one native tree, or quit using chemicals so that they could attract birds or butterflies, or even just adjusted their sprinkler heads to quit wasting water, the environment would benefit. Keeping a Wildlife Habitat Journal helps to prove just how quickly those actions DO make a difference. –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. From the AuthorAlthough loss of wildlife habitat is seen as one of the greatest factors contributing to the extinction of wildlife on the planet, Franz believes that getting people to really “get to know” the wildlife in their yards might just change all that. “Someone once told me that the secret to getting people to appreciate nature is to get them to get down and take an eye-to-eye look at it. From my own experience, I know that is true. I see it happen with people all the time. Once people start gardening for wildlife and begin to really LOOK at it – whether it is with a butterfly garden or planting for birds or creating a backyard pond, they seem to gain a whole new appreciation for the wildlife and a whole new sense of responsibility to the environment. They become backyard naturalists without really realizing they are doing it. As more and more people become these do-it-yourself naturalists, it is bound to help the environment.” The Wildlife Habitat Journal was written to encourage people to take that eye-to-eye look. “It’s easy to feel awe when you are in Yellowstone National Park or Muir Woods. But getting people to feel that same way in their own back yards – now that’s a challenge.” –This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. About the Author Betsy S. Franz is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in the Green movement, nature, wildlife, the environment and both humorous and inspirational human interest topics. She is an avid environmentalist working hard to educate and encourage others to stop and look and appreciate the wonders around them and then learn how to Take Care of Their Share of the planet. Creating a Butterfly Garden Author Marcus Schneck Product Description Plan a colorful paradise for butterflies in your garden by planting and maintaining the kinds of flowers, shrubs, trees, and other plants that these fluttering beauties will find irresistible. This lovely and practical guide offers a variety of garden plans designed to attract butterflies, and helps you select plants for different stages in their lives, from food plants for caterpillars to nectar plants for adults. As these gorgeous visitors flock to your fragrant garden, you’ll enjoy referring to the butterfly identifier included in Creating a Butterfly Garden. From detailed gardening information to fascinating facts on the life cycles of these winged creatures, here is everything you need to know to let a butterfly sanctuary blossom in your backyard. About the Author Marcus Schneck, founder and director of the Backyard Wildlife Association, is a natural history writer and photographers, and the author of several books on butterflies and hummingbirds, including Creating a Hummingbird Garden. He lives in Pennsylvania. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. GARDEN BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION Could there be a more mystical way to spend a gentle summer’s afternoon than lolling on a bed of grassy carpet among a jungle of flowering plants and watching wispy wings of bright color flit above us? This spot could be your backyard butterfly garden. Many butterfly species are easily attracted to our gardens. We have been luring these creatures for years with our traditional flower beds, often without a passing thought of the visitors that would eventually bring added coloring to the results of our labors. When we set out to design our gardens with butterflies in mind, filling them with plants and flowers that will attract and nurture the insects, the results can be spectacular. There are generally dozens of species in nearly every region of the continent that will respond, bringing with them a variety of color that is matched by no other group of wildlife. Today across much of North America, the backyard and the garden are the dominant habitat types. Whether intended or not, people are the determining factor in what’s available to much wildlife, butterflies and others. We are now an important element in the conservation of many species. Humankind’s legacy to the butterfly has largely been one of destruction and devastation. Most species are intensely tied to their environments and cannot withstand our ever-growing pressures of development and land consumption. However, in recent years, we have been increasing the space devoted to our gardens, and even specifically to backyard wildlife habitats. In some urban, drought or otherwise inhospitable environments, our gardens help to maintain the local butterfly populations. Some species, such as the more common swallowtails, seem to have responded recently with some very strong population years. One of the most important conservation decisions we can make concerns the use of pesticides, which should be avoided in the butterfly garden. Most of these chemicals are non-selective in the insects that they destroy, be they pests or desirable species like the butterflies. Even some “organic” pest-control methods have been found to be harmful to butterflies. Taylor’s Weekend Gardening Guide to Attracting Birds and Butterflies: How to Plant a Backyard Habitat to Attract Hummingbirds and Other Winged Wildlife Author Barbara Ellis  Review“Taylor’s Guides are the best, most authoritative guides on the market.” Garden Design –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Product DescriptionNature’s colorful creatures will flock to the yard when you follow the guidelines set forth in this book. Attractive flowers and natural plantings will attract birds and butterflies throughout the season. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.About the AuthorBarbara Ellis, a former gardening editor at Rodale Press and the publications director of the American Horticultural Society, is the author of many gardening books, including THE RODALE ALL-NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ORGANIC GARDENING and THE BURPEE COMPLETE GARDENER as well as several TAYLOR’S WEEKEND GARDENING GUIDES. She resides in Alburtis, Pennsylvania. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.