Featured Articles from The Butterfly Effect

18
Apr

Thank an Ant! The Essential Spring Wildflower Gardeners of the Insect World. By Vicki Bonk.

The Ephemeral Spring Wildflowers After a long winter, spring wildflower ephemerals herald a new growing season. The first blooms magically transform the woodland landscape. These early plants emerge in deciduous forests before the overhead trees fully leaf out.
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19
Feb

Notice Nature Everywhere

You know this is lichen.  You’ve seen it everywhere your entire life. That’s because there are over 14,000 species of lichen in the world. Yet, what do you know about lichen? Here’s a secret: it’s one of the most fascinating organisms on Earth. And you’ve barely noticed it.
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26
Dec

A Pollinator Health Food Banquet. By Dave Crawford.

“Native flowers are absolutely the best food source for native pollinators, and the pollinators know it.
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22
Nov

What We Plant Matters: Reimagining Our Yards as a Butterfly Haven

Throughout the millennia, the astounding beauty of the butterfly has inspired the imagination, the arts, literature, and poetry. Attracting these magnificent creatures into our own yards requires three basic ingredients: larval host plants, nectar plants, and sheltering habitat.
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30
Oct

From a Plant’s Point of View, Specialist Bees Are a Benefit. By Dave Crawford.

Let’s suppose you’re shopping for hot sauce. You probably have a favorite brand. You may be very firm about it. Let’s say you’d definitely buy Tabasco, but you’d rarely buy any other brand.
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23
Aug

For the Earth Warriors. By Chris Heeter.

For the Earth Warriors… by Chris Heeter
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19
Jul

Conservation Gardening: A Gardening Imperative for the Anthropocene. By Leslie Pilgrim

I’ve loved gardening since I was a kid. I’ve engaged in this passion-bordering-on addiction since I could ride a bike and count change.
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10
Jun

How to Garden and Landscape for Butterflies, by Alan Branhagen

Butterflies are likely the most beloved and recognizable group of insects because of their striking wing coloring and patterning. Butterflies are a subset of moths in the order Lepidoptera. Because our North American butterflies are active during the day, and no species is a pest to the average person, they get more respect than their...
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20
Apr

The Suburban Lawn: Shifting the Paradigm

I live in a lovely but turf-dominant Twin Cities suburb in Minnesota. After earning my certification as a Minnesota Master Naturalist and studying the work of noted ecologist Douglas Tallamy, I began to understand the critical importance of transitioning my corner of the world to a more natural habitat, primarily for the sake of native...
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02
Mar

Food as Sacred: The Deep Connection between Cacao and the Indigenous Bribri Culture of Costa Rica

An Interview with Mainor Ortiz Ortiz, by Sara Nelson Sara Nelson: In 2016 I began a series of trips to Costa Rica with the intention of learning rainforest field botany. However, after apprenticing with a brilliant herbalist, chocolate maker, and Scottish Costa Rica transplant named Ancel Mitchell, my focus veered towards understanding the dynamics of...
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23
Feb

Mission to the Earth. Creating Biodiversity at One’s Place of Worship

In the spring of 2020, we were in the first stages of the pandemic and religious services at my church had been suspended. Entry to the church was limited, making any effort to do interior maintenance impossible.
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