Category Archives: Butterflies

Earthyman’s Video on The Butterfly Attractor Kit For Your Butterfly Garden

Earthyman explains how you can create your own Butterfly Garden in your back yard using plants from Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa

To Purchase This Excellent Butterfly Attractor Kit Click On Our Link Below

http://ionxchange.com/products/BIRD-%26–BUTTERFLY-ATTRACTOR-STA.html

Photo of the Week Article From The Prairie Ecologist Sept. 6, 2012

Skippers are the sparrows of the butterfly world; lots of species, most of which are small, brown, and difficult to identify by amateur enthusiasts. They often are misidentified as moths, but a closer look reveals the straight antennae (not fuzzy like on moths) that identify them as butterflies.

A skipper butterfly on gray headed coneflower. Restored prairie in Sarpy County, Nebraska.

 

This particular skipper was sunning itself in a small prairie planting in Sarpy County (eastern Nebraska) last weekend. I have no idea what species it is – maybe some of you will know, but without seeing more of the wings, I can’t tell what it is. It flew off after I took this photo and I didn’t get a good look at it.

(To be honest, I still probably wouldn’t have been able to identify it!)  Chris Helzer

To Visit The Prairie Ecologist Website Click On Link Below

http://prairieecologist.com/2012/09/06/photo-of-the-week-september-6-2012/

 

My Little Prairie Article

After a thunderstorm and lots of rain last night, I walked out to our 1-mile labyrinth through our 20-year-old prairie.  I noticed the mist rising through the thick morning air and smelled the freshness of the ground and air.  Dew dripped from the Big Bluestem.  Showy Tick-trefoil was seen drooping its purple head now standing 4 feet high towering over the already bloomed Golden Alexanders.

               

 

Still the Ohio Spiderwort sends out a spectacular 3 petaled blue flower saying goodbye once again to its blooming season.

The Yellow Coneflowers reach skyward with blooms in the green buds ready to burst into their summer yellow suits supporting their cone heads.  

               Mad Dog Skullcap sported its pink and white blooms and stood at attention just below the ever-growing Indian Grass.  

 

 

 

 

 

Cup Plant had reached the overflow mark as its’ cupped leaves held at least 4 ozs. of water after the rain.  It continues its upward growth trying to once again outdo itself having reached over 7 feet in height last year.

A closer look revealed a Cream Gentian trying to get attention but alas all it could show were its waxy leaves waiting for another month to bloom and show off its pale yellow color.  Of course the Butterfly Milkweed needs no search to find as it shows forth its psychedelic orange heads stealing all the attention to itself.

The prairie hides many treasures just waiting to surprise the passerby with its individual personality made up of a hundred species of native flowers and grasses forming a living community adapted to the seasons of time.  A virtual kaleidoscope of dazzling colors turning off and on as the seasons roll by, is there to just enjoy.  Each species alone can be cherished but we sometimes forget that they all joined hands at one time making one of the largest living communities in the world sweeping from Texas to Canada.

Listen closely and you can still hear the pounding hooves of the Buffalo.

Earthyman

To Purchase These Beautiful Wildflowers Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/

 

Iowan’s Plant Natives at Half the Cost Article

Iowan’s are planting native wildflowers and grasses at one half the cost of the seed.  Through a special program and a cooperative effort amongst private growers, Iowa DNR and Pheasants Forever, it is possible to get a voucher to add much diversity to your landscape using species that are native to Iowa.  This is a one of a kind program that benefits everyone involved.  It provides wildlife cover for pheasants, deer, rabbits and a host of beneficial insects including butterflies, moths and many other pollinators.  The natives include such species as Indian Grass and Big Bluestem which root down to enormous depths into the soil which control erosion much better than European imports such as Broom Grass.

Iowa witnessed one of the largest and fastest ecosystem loss in the world as the Tallgrass Prairie was very quickly turned into corn production.  Millions of acres of black rich soil that had been created by the deep-rooted prairie has now vanished.

Thanks to this special Habitat Program created by the  cooperation of Iowa Landowners, Iowa Native Seed Growers, The Iowa DNR and Pheasants Forever, the once lost Tallgrass Prairie is returning to once again replenish precious topsoil and control erosion.

By Howard Bright  http://ionxchange.com/

Earthyman Article: Answers Given to Me by Butterflies

While standing on our balcony over looking a remnant prairie adjacent to the ocean on South Padre Island, my mind went still.  Suddenly, an orange butterfly below me appeared in the little prairie.  I noticed that it did not seem to go to some blooming yellow flowers where I expected him to be attracted.  Instead he went to a shrub with no flowers, which seemed nondescript.  He landed there and seemed to be doing something as he went from shrub to shrub of the same species.  He then came within 6 inches of a yellow flower while still remaining on a nondescript shrub.  Then he flew over to a yellow flower and hovered a few seconds and flew off.

In the meantime a small yellow butterfly came flipping up and down between the shrubs.  Then a light came on for me.  I said to myself “if you, the little yellow butterfly, passes straight in front of me and continues north that will be a sign that I am on the right path in making a very difficult decision” that I have been pondering for years.  It did do just that.  The butterfly passed from East and kept going north with no hesitation.  My answer had been given me, “do it”.  Then at that same moment when the little yellow butterfly was just landing on the beautiful bloom of a wild primrose, the orange butterfly showed up again at the very flower that he had passed up previously.  He landed there and stayed for over 2 minutes getting the most out of this flower that he had avoided before.

The meaning of all this then hit me.  I had been given the green flag to pursue the unknown and forget about the old habits of grazing on the nondescript things in life and go for it but stay with it and milk it for all it is worth.  A warm feeling came over me and I will never forget this moment.

Earthyman

To Purchase Native Wildflowers & Prairie Plants Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/

Comment On Earthyman’s Best Butterfly Plant Video of Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis) at Ion Exchange, Inc., in Northeast Iowa

Comment on You Tube from mrilovetheants:   Loads of Monarchs there, and what looks to be a Great Spangled Fritillary at1:55 middle left. Those aren’t that common, you must have lots of Violets in your forest.

Response from http://ionxchange.com/ Yes, we have lots of violets at our woodland edge.

Earthyman views the best butterfly plant at Ion Exchange, native seed and plant nursery in NE Iowa. Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis) will attract butterflies to your prairie perennial garden. Blazingstar is a perennial prairie wildflower

To Purchase This Beautiful Butterfly Plant Visit Us At http://ionxchange.com/products/LIATRIS-LIGULISTYLIS-%7C-Meadow-Blazingstar.html