September was mostly sunny with a few days of rain. There were no hurricanes to speak of and a few thunderstorms came barreling through. Basically, it was an average weather month that finished with some spectacular sunny days.
This October’s fall color looks to be one of the brightest shows in years. With warm days, cool nights, and very little rain, trees should hold on to their colorful foliage well into October. What a great time of year for a ride in the country with a camera. West Dover Road from Pawling to Wingdale was always one of my favorite rides. The ridge to the west rising up to PawlingLake is as colorful a hillside as any ridge in Vermont. Stop at the Dover Oak, the largest oak on the Appalachian Trail, and walk up to Cat Rocks on the Appalachian Trail. This is a steep walk and worth every step because the view from the top is beautiful.
I am concerned about the lack of pollinators in the natural world. Some customers have complained about the lack of fruit production on some of their large apple trees that flower profusely each spring. I did a little research and found some alarming facts.
Pollinating bugs are on the decline. Bee keepers are complaining about bee colony collapse. Colony collapse disorder is a situation where worker bees venture out into the landscape to collect pollen and never return back to the hive. This appears to be happening to all pollinating insects including our native bumblebee. There are many theories as to why many of our beneficial insects are on the decline. Is it parasites, loss of natural habitat, plant monoculture, climate change, cell phone radio waves, or pesticides killing the insects?
There are some new types of insecticides known as Neonicotinoids that may be to blame. Neonicotinoids are a strong and long lasting insecticide that affects the insect’s nervous system by paralyzing and eventually killing the bugs. Neonicotinoids became a widely used insecticide in agriculture, residential landscapes and commercial landscapes about a decade ago. Organophosphate, an earlier class of insecticide was replaced by Neonicotinoids in the 1980’s. Organophosphates were taken off the market because they were tested harmful to our environment. The environmental protection agency is conducting studies on Neonicotinoids and their findings should be released soon.
Next month we will talk more about natural and environmentally friendly applications that are safer for indoor and outdoor environments. Until then enjoy the fall color!
Pete and the Natives