Category Archives: Home and Garden

Xerces Society Letter to President Obama

April 14, 2014

President Barack Obama The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture The Honorable Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior

Dear Mr. President, Mr. Secretary of Agriculture, and Madam Secretary of the Interior,

In light of the severe decline of both the eastern and western monarch butterfly populations that has occurred since the late‐1990s, we are writing to ask you to establish a multi‐agency monarch butterfly recovery initiative to restore the habitats that support the extraordinary migrations of this iconic species. We encourage you to direct the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Forest Service (USFS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop a cooperative, landscape‐ level initiative with the many stakeholders willing to help foster significant monarch recovery.

These migrations can be saved for future generations by restoring to the landscape milkweeds, the host plants for monarch caterpillars, and nectar plants that sustain the adult butterflies. These habitats would support pollinators and a large number of other species as well. The federal agencies that incentivize conservation of wildlife habitat on private lands and that directly manage wildlife habitat on public lands can play key roles in this effort by targeting funding and technical support for such an initiative.

As you know, the eastern monarch population has been declining for more than a decade, and this year scientists observed the lowest numbers ever documented, representing a 90% drop from population numbers recorded in the mid‐1990s. Since then, there has been a significant loss of milkweeds in agricultural areas of the Midwest, which is directly correlated with the declining monarch population. Monarch habitat has also declined sharply in the West.

Monarch Migration Map

Paul Mirocha Illustration for Monarch Watch Continue reading

ORDER YOUR MILKWEED SEEDS TODAY!

Monarch Caterpillars Eating Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012JPGMonarch Caterpillars Munching on Milkweed

Ordering information:

Please note that the milkweed seeds are available in two different species and two different quantities. Please place your order amounts in the comment section of this post as follows:

Your Name, Your Email Address (optional), and Seed Type and Quantity.

For Example:

Pippi Longstocking, villavillakula@gmail.com

1 Packet Common Milkweed 3.50

1 oz. Marsh Milkweed 15.00

2 Packets Pink New England Aster @ 3.50 ea. = 7.00

My order total: $25.50

We are not collecting money ahead of time for the seeds. The orders are placed entirely by the honor system. Last year we did not have a single stiff and I will accept cash or check at the time of pick up. Seed pick up and information day will be Sunday, May 18th, from 9:30 to noon, at Captain Joe and Sons.

The packets of milkweed seeds (200-300 seeds) are perfect for a relatively smallish patch.

The larger ounce quantity is ideal for planting larger areas. On average, plan on 50 seeds per square foot. If your patch is 10 feet x 10 feet, that equals 100 square feet, and would require approximately 5,000 seeds.

Additionally, we are also offering pink and purple New England aster seeds. I’ve never grown New England asters from seed, but have read that they are relatively easy to start (although slow to germinate). New England asters make a beautiful border and will not only offer sustenance to southward migrating Monarchs, but in late summer also provide nectar for myriad species of bees and butterflies.

SEEDS

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Seed Packet (300 seeds) 3.50

1 ounce (4900 seeds) 12.00

 

Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Seed packet (200 seeds) 3.50

1 oz. (5,200 seeds) 15.00

 

Pink New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae variation)

Seed Packet (1000 seeds) 3.50

 

Purple New England Aster (Aster novae angliae)

Seed Packet (1750seeds) 3.50

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Why is it so important to plant milkweed for the Monarchs? Milkweed is the only food plant of the Monarch butterfly caterpillar. The Monarch butterfly migration is in serious peril due to loss of habitat in the United States by the use of Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready corn, soybean, and sorghum crops. Global climate change is also a factor in the weakening migration. We can all help mitigate some of the destruction by planting milkweed and nectar-rich wildflowers.

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the milkweed we see most typically growing in our dunes, meadows, roadsides, and fields. It grows quickly and spreads vigorously by underground runners. This is a great plant if you have an area of your garden that you want to devote entirely to milkweed. It prefers full sun, will tolerate some shade, and will grow in nearly any type of soil. The flowers are dusty mauve pink and have a wonderful honey-hay sweet scent.

monarch-caterpillars-common-milkweed-c2a9kim-smith-2011Common Milkweed and Monarch Caterpillars J-shape

Marsh Milkweed (Aclepias incarnata) is more commonly found in marshy areas, but grows beautifully in gardens. It does not care for dry conditions. These plants are very well-behaved and are more clump forming, rather than spreading by underground roots. The flowers are typically a brighter pink than Common Milkweed.

Monarch Butterfly marsh Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012Marsh Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) is a hardy late summer perennial that grows approximately 36 inches to 60 inches. New England asters prefer wet to medium soil, grow well in full sun, and will tolerate part shade.

New England Aster and Monarch Butterfly ©Kim Smith 2014Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at New England Aster

Cape Ann Milkweed Project Continues ~ Plant Milkweed Seeds to Save the Monarchs!

Monarch Butterfly Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca Honey Bee©Kim Smith 2013Good Harbor Beach Common Milkweed

Last year was the beginning of our first and wonderfully successful Cape Ann Milkweed Project. My friend Joe Ciaramitaro from Good Morning Gloucester generously offered to hold the plant sale at Captain Joe and Sons, which is very conveniently located on East Main Street, and we had a fantastic turnout. This year I am thinking about doing things a little differently. Rather than shipping and handling live small plants, I am planning to purchase milkweed seeds in bulk. My question is, and this is not the official order form, but just to get a sense of participation, does anyone have an interest in planting milkweed from seed in their gardens, meadows, and/or abandoned areas around our community?

I think I can get good quantities of seed of Marsh Milkweed, Common Milkweed, and Prairie Milkweed. All three are very easy to grow from seed and take about 14 days to germinate. I will provide complete information and tips on growing milkweed from seed.

Please answer in the comment section if you are interested in growing milkweed from seed.

monarch-butterfly-overwintering-graph-journey-northWhy is it so important to plant milkweed for the Monarchs? I’ve written much about that and at the end of the post, please find a list of posts previously published about the importance of milkweed. In a nutshell, milkweed is the only caterpillar food plant of the Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch Butterfly migration is in serious peril One way we can all take action to is to plant milkweed to help mitigate the loss of habitat, partly due to global climate change and primarily due to the use of Monsanto’s GMO Roundup Ready corn, soybean, and sorghum seed along with the massive use of their herbicide Roundup.

Cape Ann Milkweed Project

News Release: MONARCH WATCH ANNOUNCES ‘BRING BACK THE MONARCHS’ CAMPAIGN

How Exactly is Monsanto’s Roundup Ravaging the Monarch Butterfly Population?

Where Are All the Monarchs?

 

Monarch Butterfly Marsh Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012

Make Your Voices Heard for the Monarchs

This is not a request to donate money. Click here to sign this petition and tell the EPA to protect the Monarchs!

P.S. The photo that is on the NRDC’s Monarch petition page is my photo of a male and female Monarch Butterfly, newly emerged and resting on the foliage of Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarntata).

male-female-monarch-butterfly-marsh-milkweed-2-c2a9kim-smith-2012-copy

Male and Female Monarch Butterfly

Calling All Chocolate Lovers ~ Happy Valentine’s Day ~ with a Gorgeous Gift of the Most Decadently Delicious Chocolate Cake Ever!

Divine and To Die-for Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe From Our Friends Chef Matt Beach and Meghan Pozzi

Meghan Pozzi Making Flourless choclate Cake cooking class ©Kim Smith 2014 copyLast week I had a fabulous and fun evening taking Chef Matt’s and Meghan’s Decadent Desserts cooking class, held at Savour Wine and Cheese. I was planning to post this on Valentine’s Day, but thought that if you want to make the cake for your loved ones for Friday, I had better share today. And, if you don’t have time to make the cake, please contact Chef Matt and Savour Wine and Cheese. They will be happy to make this yummiest of cakes for you!

Flourless Choclare Cake ©Kim Smith 2014

Enter Chocolate Heaven ~

Flourless Chocolate Cake

8 oz. Semisweet chocolate (Meghan used Bakers)

¼ lb. Unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened

6 large eggs, 2 whole and 4 separated

1 C. Sugar

2 Tbs. Grand Marnier (or Cointreau ot Triple Sec)

Zest of one orange

*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Line the bottom of an 8” spring form pan with parchment paper.

2) Melt chocolate and remove from heat.

3) Whisk in butter and set aside.

4) Whisk 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with ½ cup of sugar. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture, whisk in Grand Marnier and zest.

5) In a separate bowl with an electric mixer beat the remaining 4 egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup sugar until the whites form soft mounds.

6) Stir about ¼ of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten.

7) Gently fold in the remaining egg whites

8) Pour into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

9) Let cool.

Note: The cake will sink, forming a crater with high sides.

*

Whipped Cream Topping

1 ½ C Heavy Cream

3 Tbs. Confectionary Sugar

1tsp. Vanilla extract

Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla. Fill the center of the cake with the whipped cream and spread evenly. Dust with shaved chocolate.

Flourless choclate cake ©Kim Smith 2014The cake at first looks like this when you take it out of the oven.

Flourless chocolate cake fallen ©Kim Smith 2014Shortly after removing from the oven, the cake falls.

Oftentimes flourless chocolate cakes seem somewhat leaden-like to me. Have you had that experience? That simply is not the case with Matt and Meghan’s recipe. This is the dreamiest and most cloud-like chocolate cake imaginable! My family loves my chocolate cake with lemon frosting and they will barely allow to me make any other cakes for birthdays. I think they may change their minds after sampling this cake! My daughter Liv is coming home next week and I’ll post a photo then.

Birds of New England: Mourning Doves and Why Birds Fluff When Cold

Mourning Dove pair in snowPair of Mourning Doves in Pear Tree

While writing this post and listening to recorded songs of Mourning Doves, I was immediately transported to my grandparent’s summer cottage on Cape Cod. Their home was sited on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay. Adjacent to the house was a tumbled and scrubby overgrown field and, only a sort walk down down the lane, the freshwater Hiram Pond. There was no shortage of bunnies and birds, toads and turtles, along with the occasional frog and fox. From a child’s point view, it was pure paradise. Mixed with the sound of the surf, imprinted forever is the familiar song of Mourning Doves cooing at the first light of dawn. For much of the day the nesting doves remained hidden in the tangled undergrowth. Then in the fading rosy light of day’s end, their gentle song was heard again mixed with the laughter of rambunctious family feasts on the screened porch my grandfather had built.

*   *   *

Mourning Doves during the winter months are not calling to their mates but instead are struggling to survive the cold temperatures and sparse supply of food. Our bird feeders are filled often during the week, primarily with safflower seeds. As I have explained in previous posts, squirrels, which can be a real nuisance at feeders, typically are not interested in safflower seeds. Suet and such invites rats, rabbits, and raccoons, which in turn draws coyotes.

Four Mourning Doves  ©Kim Smith 2014Mourning Doves in Pear Tree ~ fluffed and unfluffed doves

Feathers are insulating and by fluffing, the bird traps pockets of air to hold in body heat and keep out the cold. During warm weather, birds press their feathers close to their bodies to eliminate the insulating air pockets to allow heat to escape.

When the bird is incubating eggs, the insulating properties of feathers can be a drawback because the feathers keep some of the bird’s body heat from reaching the eggs. The bird either sheds some its breast feathers naturally or pulls them out to expose bare skin.  The exposed area is called a brood patch.

Read More Here: Feathers

Addendum today ~ So sadly, my husband found beneath our kitchen window this morning a beautiful Mourning Dove. For the past several months we’ve had half a dozen doves, or what looked like three pairs, nestling in the pear trees and at the feeders. Our dead Mourning Dove seemed perfectly intact, except for a few drops of blood on its head. The single greatest threat to songbirds visiting our backyards are collisions with glass.  I never thought of our wind- and weather-worn original-to-the-house 1850s window glass as potentially hazardous. Time to rethink our little backyard sanctuary.

Dead Mourning Dove  ©Kim Smith 2014From Bird Watcher’s Digest, the top ten suggestions for making your windows less deadly for birds: The Top 10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Window Strikes 

Mourning Dove Coo ~

Essex Bird Shop and Pet Supply is an excellent source for bagged safflower seeds.

Mourning Dove puffed feathers ©Kim Smith 2014 copyMourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Happy Hot Chocolate Snow Days!

Parisian Hot Chocolate ©Kim Smith 2014Some experiences we never forget. When I was a clothing designer I spent several months living in Paris with musician friends of my husband’s, Peter and Annie. Both had lived off and on in Paris and Peter was there making an album. Annie and I had become fast friends the year before while we were working on a music video together in Aruba. From the moment I arrived in Paris, Annie took me under her wing. We went to the most wonderful places for both sightseeing and dining, places only a resident would know to go. Annie was a fabulous gourmet cook and we also had lots of fun visiting Parisian kitchenny-type shops and outdoor markets. I had lived in Boston’s North End and was accustomed to whole sheep hanging in the butcher’s windows, but this was my first experience seeing captive bunnies and ducks, which were meant for eating, on sale at a marketplace.

One of the most memorable afternoons was spent visiting the extraordinary Hommage á Christian Dior at the Musée des Arts de la Mode, followed by a visit to a sweetly elegant and charming pâtisserie. The dining room was bright light-flooded from the 15 foot high ceilings and arching floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of the bustling square beyond. The pastry cart was impossibly difficult to choose from, but Annie knew just what beverage to order. Served from a pot especially designed for hot chocolate, the drink was richly dark, with a dollop of whipped cream, and topped by a square of dark chocolate. The chocolate square sank to the bottom, not quite melting. When finished drinking, there was a swirl of semi-melted chocolate remaining to spoon from the bottom of the cup.

Fast forward to raising our children. Aren’t snow days simply the best! I think I looked forward to them as much as did my kids. As a working mom a snowy day meant magical extra time off with my children, and was a day made even more festive when accompanied by cups of warm cocoa. Most times we made hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and/or with a few drops of essence of peppermint, but if I had chocolate squares and heavy cream on hand to whip, we made it our favorite Parisian way.

Liv’s coming home for a few days in February. I’m already planning a Happy Hot Chocolate afternoon (and possibly breakfast too)!

*  *  *

My best approximation of Parisian-style hot chocolate ~

2 cups whole milk, gently heated
Pinch of salt
Add vanilla bean to milk as it is heating (or add ½ tsp. vanilla)

Remove from heat. Stir in 3 Tbs. Ghirardelli unsweetened premium baking cocoa and 3 Tbs. sugar. Whisk until frothy.

Dollop with whipped cream and garnish with a square of dark chocolate.

Parisian Hot Chocolate -  ©Kim Smith 2014.

 

Birds of New England and the Magic of the Snowy Owl

765px-Bubo_scandiacus_Delta_6During this season of the great Snowy Owl irruption of 2013, owlets were recently identified as far south as Florida and as far west as Bermuda!

425px-Snowy_Owl_-_Schnee-EuleA mature adult male may be completely white; the females and owlets have the contrasting dark dots and dashes.

Typically, the Snowy Owls that we see in our region during the winter months are not mature adults. The fledged owlets have yet to fully develop the skills needed to hunt in the Arctic tundra where food is in short supply during the winter months. The immatures migrate south in search of more plentifully available food in warmer hunting grounds. Not all Snowy Owlets migrate south, and some even migrate further north, heading for patches of open water to feed on fish.

The above though does not explain why there are so many Snowy Owls this year. One reason scientists speculate is that the Snowy Owl is having an irruptive year because it was so warm in the Arctic this past summer. There may have been an explosion in the Arctic lemming population, which would lead to a strong rate of survival amongst Snowy Owlets.

A recent controversy involving the slaughtering of Snowy Owls by The New York Port Authority was solved by adopting Boston’s Logan Airport model of capturing and relocating the Snowies. Why are Snowy Owls so interested in airports when they really prefer open areas such as sand dunes, marshes, native grasslands, jetties, and undisturbed beaches? Habitat destruction. As native grasslands have given way to development, in some regions, the only remaining open habitats are found at airports.

Snowy Owl With American Black DuckSnowy Owl 

To learn more about the Magic of the Snowy Owl see this beautiful film from the PBS Nature series: Magic of the Snowy Owl

All images courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Snowy-Owl-Infographic-110912

Click infographic to view larger

 

Request for Help and Monarch Film Update

Header Good FINAL FINALFor the past three years I have been filming the life story of the Monarch Butterfly in backyards and along the shores of Cape Ann. My original intent was to tell the story of the butterflies primarily as it relates to their northern breeding grounds and specifically here in our community. Prior to filming, I wrote a children’s story about the Monarchs and during this entire time I have had an ongoing inner debate as to whether or not to travel to Mexico. While editing the film these past few months, I determined that capturing the butterfly’s story in their winter sleeping grounds as they are awakening in Mexico would only add to the film’s depth and beauty. To film in Mexico would be a dream come true.

In February I am going to Mexico to film the Monarchs!!! This all has come about very quickly! I have to practice walking five miles a day, recall how to ride a horse, and learn enough Spanish so that if I am separated from my group or kidnapped by bandits, I can at least inquire as to where is the bathroom.

Does anyone know of a local outfit that gives lessons in trail riding? And does anyone have experience with a Spanish language lesson CD (basic)? If so, can you please recommend in the comment section. Thank  you!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for adventures from Mexico! Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly will premiere  in the summer of 2014.

Rather than wait until the film was complete, this weekend I made a new website for the film-in-progress. When you have a moment, I hope you’ll visit my website and read more about Beauty on the Wing here.

monarch-butterfly-milkweed-good-harbor-beach-c2a9kim-smith-2011Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at Common Milkweed ~ Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester

Beauty on the Wing celebrates the poetry and majesty of the uniquely North American phenomenon of the Monarch butterfly and its migration. There are no other butterflies the world over that travel this distance and it is a fascinating ecological link that connects Mexico with nearly every geographic region within the United States and Canada. How well the forested habitats of Michoacán are taken care of is as of equal importance to the Monarchs as how we in Gloucester conserve our habitats.

Birds of New England: Great Egret vs. Great Egret

Great Egret Gloucester - ©Kim Smith 2013Great Egret (Ardea alba)

On a gorgeous dawn this past season I filmed an epic battle between two, possibly three, Great Egrets at the Good Harbor Beach marsh. The battle lasted nearly ten minutes with the defending egret aggressively flying lower and beneath the intruder, preventing it from landing anywhere on the marsh.

Great Egret Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2013Great Egrets have very interesting breeding behavior in that the male selects the nesting site and builds a platform nest of sticks and twigs in a tree, shrub, or on the ground near a marsh,  prior to selecting a mate. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks, and both male and female vigorously defend the nesting territory. Perhaps that is what I had observed, a male and/or female defending their nesting site.

Great Egret Gloucester Massachusetts ©Kim Smith 2013The Good Harbor Beach victor first surveyed the marsh from his perch on the adjacent cottage and, after determining his foe was defeated, swooped to the tide pool below to feed peaceably alonsgide the Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron Great Egret Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2013Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

How do you tell the difference quickly between a Great Egret and Snowy Egret? If you saw the two species side-by-side it would be easy as the Great Egret is nearly a third as large as the Snowy Egret. I don’t often see them together so the easiest way for me to tell them apart is to remember that the smaller Snowy Egret has brilliant cadmium yellow feet and a black bill. The Great Egret has black feet and a yellow-orange bill.

Snow Egret ©Kim Smith 2013Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

Good Harbor Beach Marsh ©Kim Smith 2013Good Harbor Beach Marsh Battleground

Light and Lively ~ Kiwi Mango Salsa

Kiwi Mango Salsa -- ©Kim Smith 2014.J3-4 Mangoes, peeled and diced

4 Kiwis, peeled and diced

6 Celery heart stalks, chopped

2 Shallots, minced

1Tbs. Ginger, finely grated

Handful of cilantro, finely chopped

1 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and pith removed, minced

Juice of 1-2 limes, to taste

Pinch of salt

Optional additions: avocados and bell peppers

Seeking relief from the bleak hues of winter, I enjoy making colorful fruit and veggie salsas during cold weather months. What makes this salsa recipe wonderfully “lively” is the combination of sweet and spicy, along with the crunch of celery hearts and punch of jalapeno pepper.

Combine all ingredients with half of the minced pepper; add more jalapeno pepper to taste. This is the base recipe; to this add avocado and red and orange bell peppers for an even more colorful mélange.

Kiwi Mango Salsa ©Kim Smith 2014For a simple and healthy dinner, arrange salsa on a bed of lettuce with grilled scallops, shrimp, or chicken. Kiwi Mango Salsa will easily serve 6 as shown above.

Birds of New England: The Majestic Mute Swan

Mute Swan taking flight -2 ©Kim Smith 2014The extraordinarily powerful wings and torso of the Mute Swan

The above photo is a lucky capture as I was actually filming the Gadwalls behind the swan. When the swan began to lift out of the water I quickly turned my attention toward it. The first two photos are the same; the first is cropped, the second uncropped so that you can see the tremendous scale of the swan’s body and wings in relation to its environment. The Mute Swan is the second heaviest waterfowl, second only to the Trumpeter Swan. In observing swans, I marvel in nature that a creature this heavy can soar majestically through the clouds and swim so gracefully through water.

Mute Swan taking flight ©Kim Smith 2014Mute swans feed primarily on submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation and a small percentage of their diet also includes frogs, small fish, and insects. Because swans feed in deep water they do not compete with smaller waterfowl such as ducks. It is thought that food is made more readily available to ducks because the swans do not eat all the food they pull up. This seems logical and factual from my own observations at our local ponds and marshes. I very often see a wide range of waterfowl congenially feeding with the Mute Swans.

Swan food winter ©Kim Smith 2014Mute Swan feeding on submerged vegetation at Niles Pond

Note ~ Mute swans, which are a nonnative species, do compete directly for food with North American native Trumpeter Swans, in regions where Trumpeter Swans are indigenous (Trumpeter Swans are not native to Cape Ann).

For more photos, information, and video see previous posts about the Mute Swan:

Vibrant Throbbing Wingbeats

Where do Swans Go in Winter?

Niles Pond or Brace Cove?

The Scarf, With Pockets!

Scarf with Pockets ©Kim Smith 2014. JPG -3 copyThe ideal scarf for photographers ~ a scarf-with-pockets!

If you are anything like me, when out photographing or filming, your coat pockets are so over-stuffed that there is no room for frozen fingers. Typically, my pockets contain second and third alternate lenses, car keys, lens cap, lens wiping cloth, and gloves. The gloves are off so that I can work the cameras, which invariably leads to numb hands and fingers. Meet the scarf-with-pockets. In between shots, you can tuck your hands into the convenient scarf pockets. For added warmth, I worked this in the brioche stitch, which creates a luxuriously textured and lofty pattern.

My favorite yarn currently is Frog Trees’s gorgeous Chunky Alpaca. Alpaca is warm and cozy, with a similarly soft feel to that of cashmere, and is NOT ITCHY!

You can purchase Frog Tree’s Chunky Alpaca from Robert at Coveted Yarn. Frog Tree yarns are fair trade; profits from the sale of yarns goes to the artisan.

Frog Tree chunky Alpaca ©Kim Smith 2014Chunky Alpaca comes in a beautiful array of colors. If Robert doesn’t have the color you are looking for in stock, ask, and he will custom order it for you.

4 Skeins Frog Tree Chunky Alpaca

#6 needles (or size to suit your knitting style; I knit very loosely)

Cast on, very loosely 24 sitiches. Work basic brioche stitch for approximately 52 inches. Bind off loosely. Scarf measurement before pockets: 52″ in length, 6″ wide.

For each pocket ( work both simultaneously on the same needles so they come out the same length), loosely cast on 48 stitches. Work knit one pearl one ribbing for one inch. Switch to brioche stitch and work until total length of pockets equals the same width of scarf (in this case, 6 inches). Bind off very loosely. Slightly stretch and block ribbing to equal width of the pocket. Stitch pockets to scarf.

Scarf with Pockets ©Kim Smith 2014. JPGPocket Detail

End Notes ~ The brioche stitch is a little tricky. Heidi, who works at Coveted Yarn, recommended online youtube tutorials, which I did, and found it was a terrific way to learn a new pattern. This is the perfect winter for an extra thick and lofty scarf and I’ll be busy on a second scarf-with-pockets because daughter Liv has claimed the red one in the photo.

I have recently noticed scarves with pockets in shops and the pocket openings were acclimated horizontally rather than vertically, as are the pockets in this pattern. That’s a great idea, because the pockets can then be used to also hold items however, the openings would be less conveniently placed for warming hands.Frog Tree chunky Alpaca Coveted yarn ©Kim Smith 2014

First Snowstorm of 2014: Snapshots From East Gloucester ~ What a Difference from AM to PM!

Benjamin Duckworth -1 ©Kim Smith 2013From earlier in the day while the storm was still blowing ~

Benjamin Duckworth 2 © Kim Smith 2013Benjamin Duckworth Building an Awesome Fort

Smith's Cove ©Kim Smith 2013Super High Tide

Don’t forget our feathered friends. I filled the bird feeders three times!

Mourning Dove ©Kim Smith 2013Mourning Dove

Black-capped Chickadee ©Kim Smith 2013White-breasted Nuthatch

The sun started to break through mid-afternoon. I headed to Smith’s Cove and then drove (precariously) to Eastern Point to catch the setting sun. Happy Snow Days!

North Shore Art Association ©Kim Smith 2013North Shore Art Association

Our Lady of good Voyage ©Kim Smith 2013Our Lady of Good Voyage

Eastern point Lighthouse ©Kim Smith 2013Eastern Point Lighthouse

Eastern Point Yacht Club  -2©Kim Smith 2013White-breasted Nuthatch ©Kim Smith 2013-©Kim Smith 2013Eastern Point Yacht Club

Briar’s “Little House” Cookies

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -6 ©Ki Smith 2013 .Don’t these cookies remind you of the Virginia Lee Burton children’s story The Little House?

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies ©Ki Smith 2013My friend Briar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate, made this gorgeous gift of fabulously delicious baked treats for my family. The bursting-full-of-yumminess box contained gingerbread cookies, Willowdale signature cookies, pumpkin bread, apple cake (her Italian grandmother’s recipe), which Briar enhanced to include cranberries.

Imagine, despite the fact that she is the owner and operator of of Willowdale, where she employs over 100 local people, Briar continues to take the time to bake and hand decorate cookies and treats for her friends and family. Very fortunately for we, her friends and her employees, she bakes throughout the year, not just at Christmastime!Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies  -4©Ki Smith 2013 .

Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -2 ©Ki Smith 2013 .Briar Forsythe Willowdale Cookies -3 ©Ki Smith 2013 .Briar has perfected her gingerbread cookie recipe. The “Little House” cookies not only look amazing, they are actually super delicious as well (which isn’t always the case with gingerbread house dough).

2325Several years ago, I took Briar to the Cape Ann Museum to show her the wonderful Virginia Lee Burton exhibit. I love Briar’s gingerbread house cookies and they remind me greatly of Burton’s extraordinarily beautiful children’s book The Little House. What do you think?

I imagine that if a local baker wanted to make the connection between Virginia Lee Burton, Gloucester, and Little House cookies, it would fill a terrific niche and they would have a ready made market!

IMG_3175What The Little House would look like on a day like today!

sun The Llittle HouseVirginia Lee Burton daisy sun detail.

The Little House images are courtesy of a google image search.

Snapshots from Christmas in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Country Club ©Kim Smith 2013Cincinnati Country Club

Liv and Alex copyLiv and Alex

My husband’s extended family has been celebrating Christmas Eve together since they emigrated from Germany in the mid-1800s. I was feeling a bit melancholy, as I think were other family members, because the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s) is retiring from hosting the parties. The festivities will surely still go on, although not in quite the same high style as Christmas’s past because many of the next generation (such as ourselves) have made their homes far and wide.

_DSF5764This year was my mother-in-law’s turn to host the party. The table was beautifully decorated and I love the simple and cheery touch of the cardinals on the apples.

Bumbleberry cake BonBonerie ©Kim Smith 2013jpg copyBumbleberry Torte from BonBonerie

Cincinnati was settled largely by German immigrants and judging by the countless established bakeries dotted throughout the city, I imagine the original emigrees were fabulous bakers. One of Tom’s cousins, Debbie, created a cookbook based on favorite family Christmas recipes, including recipes that date back to the 1800s, recipes from the family’s cooks, and recipes from old German great aunts who also lived in the big house and whose job it was at Christmastime to make thousands of cookies. When we spend Christmas at home and not in Ohio, Liv, Alex, and I love to cook from the family Christmas cookbook and the cookies especially are the yummiest you could possibly imagine.

_DSF5794My father-in-law, who is the most kind-hearted man I have ever met, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is a great storyteller, too–and boy does he have many stories to share from a life richly led!
Liv Alex and Hannah

Cincinnati Country Club snow ©Kim Smith 2013Dusting of snow Christmas Eve morning

Cincinnati Country Club  -1©Kim Smith 2013_DSF6033Cincinnati is just that much further west that sunrise is nearly an hour later than in Gloucester. The club that we stay at is set within a golf course sited on a hill, with beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Cincinnati Country Club  -3©Kim Smith 2013JPGCincinnati Country Club -4 ©Kim Smith 2013Getting ready for Christmas Eve celebration #2!

Liv, Alex, Tom HauckAlways a challenge to get loved ones to stand still long enough for a photo!

Liv, Alex, Tom Hauck -

Liv, Alex, Tom Hauck

Nutcracker ©Kim Smith 2013 copyDouble Exposure Fuifilm X- E1

End Note: In poking around online, I found a photo of the home of Great-aunt Kitty, where the Christmas Eve parties were held continuously for many years. Tom has fond memories of wonderful Christmas’s spent there and especially of the “kiddy table,” where all the cousins and siblings sat together (no adults!), and I gather, where many food fights occurred. The house, still standing, was donated to the Cincinnati park board and you can see more photos of the gorgeous interior at this link: The Gibson-Hauck House. While in Cincinnati we also visited the Rookwood Pottery studio. If you have ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you probably know how beautiful is Rookwood pottery. This post is already too long so later in the week I’ll do a little post about Rookwood.

Hauck Gibson HouseGibson-Hauck House

Panetonne French Toast for a New Year’s Day Brunch Treat

Did you know that panettone makes wonderful French toast?

Panetonne French Toast -- ©Kim Smith 2013 copyWe make French toast with panetonne during the holidays and it is always a much appreciated hit. Give it a try—your family will love you for it!

4-5 eggs whisked

1 ½ Cups whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

6-8 slices of panettone, cut into slices roughly ½ inch thick, and arranged to fit your baking dish,

Optional: add grated orange zest and cinnamon to the batter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Dip panetonne in batter. Arrange slices in pan and pour any remaining batter over bread slices. Up to this point the French toast can be made ahead of time and set aside until ready to bake. Refrigerate if longer than half an hour. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffy. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Panetonne French Toast ©Kim Smith 2013

Setting the Table for a Regal Butterfly Comeback, With Milkweed

Monarch Caterpillar Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2013Monarch Caterpillar Eating the Foliage of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Thank you readers and Monarch Butterfly friends for forwarding the following article from the NY Times!

By Michael Wines

Published December 20th, 2013

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Bounding out of a silver Ford pickup into the single-digit wind-flogged flatness that is Iowa in December, Laura Jackson strode to a thicket of desiccated sticks and plucked a paisley-shaped prize.

It was a pod that, after a gentle squeeze, burst with chocolate brown buttons: seeds of milkweed, the favored — indeed, the only — food of the monarch butterfly caterpillar.

Once wild and common, milkweed has diminished as cropland expansion has drastically cut grasslands and conservation lands. Diminished too is the iconic monarch.

Dr. Jackson, a University of Northern Iowa biologist and director of its Tallgrass Prairie Center, is part of a growing effort to rescue the monarch. Her prairie center not only grows milkweed seeds for the state’s natural resources department, which spreads them in parks and other government lands, but has helped seed thousands of acres statewide with milkweed and other native plants in a broader effort to revive the flora and fauna that once blanketed more than four-fifths of the state.Monarch Caterpillar milkweed -2 © Kim Smith 2012Monarch caterpillar hanging from a Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) leaf rib, in the characteristic J-shape, readying to pupate.

Nationwide, organizations are working to increase the monarchs’ flagging numbers. At the University of Minnesota, a coalition of nonprofits and government agencies called Monarch Joint Venture is funding research and conservation efforts. At the University of Kansas, Monarch Watch has enlisted supporters to create nearly 7,450 so-called way stations, milkweed-rich backyards and other feeding and breeding spots along migration routes on the East and West Coasts and the Midwest.

But it remains an uphill struggle. The number of monarchs that completed the largest and most arduous migration this fall, from the northern United States and Canada to a mountainside forest in Mexico, dropped precipitously, apparently to the lowest level yet recorded. In 2010 at the University of Northern Iowa, a summertime count in some 100 acres of prairie grasses and flowers turned up 176 monarchs; this year, there were 11.

Read the story here

Beautiful Morning After Snowfall in East Gloucester Square

Beacon marine Basin © Kim Smith 2013Beacon Marine Basin

Wednesday morning East Gloucester was especially beautiful although, is anywhere not magically beautiful after a new fallen snow? While photographing around the neighborhood, I nearly ran into Frieda on her way into her shop, Again and Again (with lots of terrific gift items for last minute shoppers). After photographing down by the North Shore Art Association I stopped in to say hello to Frieda and Beth at Again and Again (see yesterday’s post).

Leaving the shop, and while admiring Duckworth’s wreath and lovely holiday decor, I met Ken Duckworth outside his bistro. We had a friendly chat and I was reminded of what a fabulous neighborhood is ours. At that moment I was thinking not of the beauty that surrounds, but of our wonderful neighbors.

Maritime Heritage center ©Kim Smith 2013Maritime Center from Smith’s Cove

Duckworth's ©Kim Smith 2013Duckworth’s in the Snow

Dinner at Duckworth’s Bistrot anytime of the year, but most especially during the holidays, is always a very special treat. Plan to go soon for your Duckworth’s fix because I believe they close for several weeks during. January.

East main Street snow © Kim Smith 2013Snowy Morning East Main Street

Pine cones snow ©Kim Smith 2013 copyGlitter Pine Cones

Duckworth's wreath ©Kim Smith 2013Duckworth’s Wreath

My Grandmother’s Garden

Excerpt from my book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! ~ Notes from a Gloucester Garden, (David R. Godine, Publisher), Chapter 22 ~ “My Grandmother’s Garden.”

Mimi, Kim Smith, Liv HauckMy grandmother Mimi, just before she passed away, me, and daughter Liv

In the early 1960s my grandparents purchased (for the amazing sum of seven hundred dollars!) a picturesque half-acre lot with private beach rights on Cape Cod. Their dream was to build a cottage on the tall bluff overlooking the bay. Coincidentally, my grandmother continued to build their home in successive seven hundred dollar increments. Seven hundred dollars paid for digging the cellar, the next for pouring the cement for the foundation, and seven hundred dollars paid to frame the house. My grandfather finished the remaining work, and they were still building the cottage when we began to spend our summers there. He always had a hammer in one hand and a fistful of nails in the other, and I was thrilled to follow him about holding the nails.

My grandparents worked hard and created wonderful homes they generously shared. While still a young mother and throughout her life, my grandmother taught ceramics at the pottery studio our grandfather built for her. Working together, whatever they touched became transformed into something beautiful. Their homes had an enchanting and joyful atmosphere, or perhaps it just seems that way, recalled from a childhood of fond memories. When I was making plans to attend art school in Boston, my grandmother shared with me her portfolio from Parsons School of Design. I had come to spend the weekend to help her close down the house for the winter. There, in her garage, tucked in an old cupboard, she carefully pulled out a well-worn, though neatly arranged, portfolio filled with her watercolors and sketches. Imagine, keeping her portfolio safe all those years, possibly with the hope of communicating some part of her earlier self to one of her grandchildren.

Eventually, their gray-shingled summer dream cottage was made inviting by a screened porch, blue painted shutters, and a white picket fence. A dooryard flower garden was planted in front, and around back a vegetable and flower garden were sited atop the cliff overlooking the bay. A narrow, sandy path bordered with deliciously fragrant wild beach roses led from the garden to the steep stairs descending to the beach. A weathered picket fence and rickety salvaged gate connected to a wooden archway enclosed the flower garden. By mid-summer the entryway to the garden was embowered with a cloud of sky blue morning glories. Situated in a haphazard manner outside the gated garden were wind- and weatherworn 1920s bamboo armchairs and matching comfy chaise lounge. On some days we would play imaginary children’s games there in her garden overlooking the sea, and on other days we would draw and paint, make clay things from clay foraged from the bluff, and catch fat, helpless toads. I helped my grandmother plant hollyhocks and marguerites and marigolds. The colors, so vividly clear and fresh; flowers growing by the sea appear even more beautiful, perhaps from the ambient light reflected off the water.

Weather permitting, we usually served dinner on the porch. All the porch furniture was painted my grandmother’s signature blue. We ate at a long table with a pretty white-on-white embroidered cloth and round crystal rose bowl full of whatever flowers we had collected that day. We would have family feasts in the fading rosy light, memorable dinners of freshly boiled lobsters and mountains of steamed clams, buttery and sweet corn-on-the-cob, freshly picked vegetables and fruit, and ice cream.

Blissfully lying in bed early in the morning, I recall hearing the soft cries of the Mourning Doves and the cheery calls of the Bobwhites, mingled with the inviting sound of the surf. From my bedroom window I could look out across the garden to the bay and see the ships and sailboats coming and going in the sharply sparkling sea. The transcendent harmonies of the surrounding undulating sea-rhythms and shifting light, the blend of flower fragrances, and birdsongs created the desire to in turn provide similar experiences for our children.

Some years later and newly married, my husband and I were visiting my grandmother at her Cape house. We sat with her in the living room listening to her usual captivating tales, and told her our plans for our new life together. My husband later remarked to me how beautiful she looked. Mimi was wearing a summer shift in a lovely shade of French blue, seated in a chair slipcovered in a blue floral print, with the shimmering azure sea framed by the window behind her, her china blue eyes gazing serenely back at us.

My Garden—like the Beach—

Denotes there be—a Sea—

That’s Summer—

Such as These—the Pearls

She fetches—such as Me

—Emily Dickinson

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Chocolate Amaretto Truffle Recipe

A fun to make and relatively easy recipe, Chocolate Amaretto Truffles make a wonderful host/hostess gift and also easily freeze for make-ahead gifts. I am bringing a batch to the Good Morning Gloucester Holiday Party tonight at Fred Bodin’s gallery and hope to see you there!

Choclolate Amaretto Truffles ©Kim Smith 2011

Ingredients

Mini baking cups

2 ounces Baker’s sweet German chocolate, broken into small bits

6 ounces Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ C. Disaronno Amaretto liqueur

2 Tbs. strong coffee

Few drops almond extract

2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

½ C. pulverized Jules Destrooper almond thins (or Anna’s, or any super fine, thin cookie)

Confectioner’s sugar to taste (approx. ¼ cup)

½ C. Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder for final powdering

*   *   *

Melt sweet chocolate bits and semi-sweet chocolate chips over a gently simmering double boiler.

Whisk in liqueur, coffee, almond extract, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously, over gentle heat, a few minutes more until mixture is shiny and smooth. Gradually add the butter by tablespoons. With a wooden spoon, beat in the pulverized cookies. Beat in sifted confectioner’s sugar, to taste. Remove the pan from the double boiler and place in a bowl of ice with water. Stir until well chilled and firm enough to form into balls.

By teaspoonful, gather up a gob and form into a rough, truffle-like shape. Roll in cocoa powder and drop into frilled paper cup.

Makes about 22, depending on size. Refrigerate in an airtight container. They will keep for several weeks or they may be frozen. Very loosely adapted from Julia Child’s Chocolate Amaretti Truffles The Way to Cook Page 485.

I think you will find this recipe relatively easy. Let us know if you do give it a try.

Reposted from December 2011.

Beautiful Video Filmed at Willowdale Estate and Produced by Long Haul Films

Mary Foss Murphy writes ~

I am a faithful GMG reader and enjoy your posts and pictures.  Thank you for sharing your talents with us. Knowing of your work at Willowdale and your work as a video producer, I thought you would enjoy this wedding trailer from Long Haul Films of a recent wedding there. The intro to the trailer mentions the beautiful setting; I wish a few more scenes of Willowdale had made it into the trailer.  I love the cranes as the backdrop for their vows. I have been following the Long Haul blog for a few years. I’m always cheered by watching two people in love get married!

Enjoy!
Sincerely,
Mary Foss Murphy

P.S. My mom bought me your book Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! for Christmas a few years ago.  I garden, though have not had time to do your book justice.  I love having it anyway.

My response ~ Thank you so much for sharing Mary and thank you for your good words regarding my book. I loved seeing this film and am so glad to become acquainted with Long Haul Films!  The video must have been created very recently as I planted the sunflower window boxes just a month or so ago!

*  *  *

Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! is currently selling for only $15.00 on my publisher’s website, which is a $20.00 value off the list price of $35.00.

Click here to purchase a copy of Oh Garden.

The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear

Many, many friends have forwarded the following article from the New York Times, “The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear.” 

Female Monarch Egg Marsh Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2013JPGFemale Monarch Depositing an Egg

In the above photo, the female Monarch Butterfly is curling her abdomen around to the underside of the Marsh Milkweed plant. She chooses the most tender foliage toward the top of the plant on which to deposit her eggs.

Begin New York Times article, published November 22, 2013 ~

ON the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned.

This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.

“It does not look good,” said Lincoln P. Brower, a monarch expert at Sweet Briar College.

It is only the latest bad news about the dramatic decline of insect populations.

Another insect in serious trouble is the wild bee, which has thousands of species. Nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids are implicated in their decline, but even if they were no longer used, experts say, bees, monarchs and many other species of insect would still be in serious trouble.

That’s because of another major factor that has not been widely recognized: the precipitous loss of native vegetation across the United States.

“There’s no question that the loss of habitat is huge,” said Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, who has long warned of the perils of disappearing insects. “We notice the monarch and bees because they are iconic insects,” he said. “But what do you think is happening to everything else?”

A big part of it is the way the United States farms. As the price of corn has soared in recent years, driven by federal subsidies for biofuels, farmers have expanded their fields. That has meant plowing every scrap of earth that can grow a corn plant, including millions of acres of land once reserved in a federal program for conservation purposes.

Another major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it.

As a result, millions of acres of native plants, especially milkweed, an important source of nectar for many species, and vital for monarch butterfly larvae, have been wiped out. One study showed that Iowa has lost almost 60 percent of its milkweed, and another found 90 percent was gone. “The agricultural landscape has been sterilized,” said Dr. Brower.

The loss of bugs is no small matter. Insects help stitch together the web of life with essential services, breaking plants down into organic matter, for example, and dispersing seeds. They are a prime source of food for birds. Critically, some 80 percent of our food crops are pollinated by insects, primarily the 4,000 or so species of the flying dust mops called bees. “All of them are in trouble,” said Marla Spivak, a professor of apiculture at the University of Minnesota.

Farm fields are not the only problem. Around the world people have replaced diverse natural habitat with the biological deserts that are roads, parking lots and bluegrass lawns. Meanwhile, the plants people choose for their yards are appealing for showy colors or shapes, not for their ecological role. Studies show that native oak trees in the mid-Atlantic states host as many as 537 species of caterpillars, which are important food for birds and other insects. Willows come in second with 456 species. Ginkgo, on the other hand, which is not native, supports three species, and zelkova, an exotic plant used to replace elm trees that died from disease, supports none. So the shelves are nearly bare for bugs and birds.

Native trees are not only grocery stores, but insect pharmacies as well. Trees and other plants have beneficial chemicals essential to the health of bugs. Some monarchs, when afflicted with parasites, seek out more toxic types of milkweed because they kill the parasites. Bees use medicinal resins from aspen and willow trees that are antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral, to line their nests and to fight infection and diseases. “Bees scrape off the resins from the leaves, which is kind of awesome, stick them on their back legs and take them home,” said Dr. Spivak.

Besides pesticides and lack of habitat, the other big problem bees face is disease. But these problems are not separate. “Say you have a bee with viruses,” and they are run-down, Dr. Spivak said. “And they are in a food desert and have to fly a long distance, and when you find food it has complicated neurotoxins and the immune system just goes ‘uh-uh.’ Or they become disoriented and can’t find their way home. It’s too many stressors all at once.”

There are numerous organizations and individuals dedicated to rebuilding native plant communities one sterile lawn and farm field at a time. Dr. Tallamy, a longtime evangelizer for native plants, and the author of one of the movement’s manuals, “Bringing Nature Home,” says it’s a cause everyone with a garden or yard can serve. And he says it needs to happen quickly to slow down the worsening crisis in biodiversity.

When the Florida Department of Transportation last year mowed down roadside wildflowers where monarch butterflies fed on their epic migratory journey, “there was a huge outcry,” said Eleanor Dietrich, a wildflower activist in Florida. So much so, transportation officials created a new policy that left critical insect habitat un-mowed.

That means reversing the hegemony of chemically green lawns. “If you’ve got just lawn grass, you’ve got nothing,” said Mace Vaughan of the Xerces Society, a leading organization in insect conservation. “But as soon as you create a front yard wildflower meadow you go from an occasional honeybee to a lawn that might be full of 20 or 30 species of bees and butterflies and monarchs.”

First and foremost, said Dr. Tallamy, a home for bugs is a matter of food security. “If the bees were to truly disappear, we would lose 80 percent of the plants,” he said. “That is not an option. That’s a huge problem for mankind.”

Jim Robbins is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of “The Man Who Planted Trees.”
 *  *  *

My note about milkweeds ~

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the milkweed we see most typically growing in our dunes, meadows, roadsides, and fields. It grows quickly and spreads vigorously by underground runners. This is a great plant if you have an area of your garden that you want to devote entirely to milkweed. It prefers full sun, will tolerate some shade, and will grow in nearly any type of soil. The flowers are dusty mauve pink and have a wonderful honey-hay sweet scent.

Marsh Milkweed (Aclepias incarnata) is more commonly found in marshy areas, but it grows beautifully in gardens. It does not care for dry conditions. These plants are very well-behaved and are more clump forming, rather than spreading by underground roots. The flowers are typically a brighter pink than Common Milkweed.

Easiest Method on How to Grow Milkweed From Seed

Lecture Wednesday Night at the Pepperell Garden Club: The Pollinator Garden

7- HW Summer ©Kim Smith 2012Gloucester HarborWalk

On Wednesday evening, November 13th, at 7 pm, I will be giving my program, “The Pollinator Garden,” for the Pepperell Garden Club. Following the rhythm of the seasons, I present a slide show and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates. I hope you will come join me!

6- HW Great Spangled Fritillary ©Kim Smith 2012 copyGreat Spangled Fritillary at the Gloucester HarborWalk