Because reducing the allowable levels of Atrazine is such an important event to me, I asked Maryann Whitman, recently retired Wild Ones Journal Editor, to prepare one of her scientific summaries for me to share with you. Here is what Maryann had to say about Atrazine: [Read more…]
Archives for September 2016
Typically throughout the spring we get a couple of frogs in our pool, but during the past few weeks this fall we’ve gotten a number of frogs in our pool as well. I wrote to my friend Dick Nikolai who recently retired from the Wisconsin DNR. This is what he said about this new phenomenon and the photos I sent:
“You have two species of frogs. One is a green frog which is more typical of ponds and is very common. The second frog is a Northern Leopard Frog which is somewhat common but more of a land or meadow frog. Both coming to your pool area is due to the fall migration to wetlands for their overwintering. I am sure there are frogs also coming to the detention ponds nearby. It has been a great year for frogs for wetlands were filled to their capacity and remained that way because of the abundance of rain in 2016. As the weather turns cooler you may see more of them.
In order to assist the frogs further (from drowning) you can throw in a floating board or similar piece into the pool so the frogs could climb above it. Problem with that it makes them vulnerable to great blue herons and other birds that may dine on them. They just need some floating mat along with overhead cover.”
Too bad I can’t introduce some native White Water Lilies (Nymphaea odorata) into my pool. Then we’d have it made!
Note: Thankfully where I live in Wisconsin, we have limited contamination from Atrazine as noted in maps included in this report from NRDC. All the frogs I’ve rescued from my pool over the years have been healthy and have appeared to be appropriately shaped.
The U.S. EPA has recommended reducing the allowable levels of Atrazine used in nearly 100 herbicide mixes as a result of its recently issued draft ecological risk assessment of Atrazine. Public comments will be accepted through October 5, 2016.
While farmers across America are concerned that this reduction in allowable levels of Atrazine would increase the cost of production and reduce yields of crops typically using this herbicide, environmentalists are cheering the pending change. [Read more…]
I stopped by the WILD Center earlier this week and to my delight, there were dozens of monarchs flitting around the native gardens and the prairie, along with a variety of other pollinators. Now is a great time to get outside to watch nature in action. Enjoy!