Twenty-six years ago, Bon Air Park’s Quarry/Shade Garden was neither a quarry nor a garden. The 40‘ x 30’ site, once used as a quarry for inferior- grade building stone, sat idle and overgrown...It is fitting that the idea for reclaiming the present site was conceived during an Earth Day celebration in Bon Air Park in 1988. It would become the first of seven demonstration gardens in Arlington and Alexandria, developed and maintained by MGNV.
As bees feed on flower nectar, their electrostatically-charged and branched body hairs attract and trap pollen grains. They carry the grains from flower to flower making them very effective pollinators. (About one-third of agricultural crops world-wide depend directly or indirectly on bees for pollination.) Both male and female bees feed on flower nectar, which provides carbohydrates and energy. However, only the female bees gather and carry pollen back to the nest or hive. Pollen provides protein that is essential for developing larvae.
By now you have seen or heard (reports about) the periodical cicadas of Brood II. You also may remember back to 2004 and the Brood X cicadas (the largest and most widespread of all broods). Periodical cicadas occur in cycles of 13 or 17 years. There are about five broods of 17-year cicadas that appear in different years in Northern Virginia.
Since many native foods are scarce this time of year, bird feeders can be quite busy. Birds, such as cardinals, finches, chickadees, titmice and sparrows, prefer black-oil sunflower seeds (hulled seeds cause less mess) in hanging feeders. However, if you happen to grow plants like eastern redcedar and winterberry (both are natives with high wildlife value) that still hold their winter fruit, then you may find a flock of colorful Bombycilla cedrorum (cedar waxwings) stopping by for a snack.