This year was the 10th year anniversary for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge, and the 8th year anniversary for us squirrels. In fact, we began our blogging in 2012 with this challenge.
We’re both proud and excited to complete our challenge. If you’ve spent any time poking around our website, you’ve likely noticed the line of ‘survivor badges’ our sidebar. We have not been able to find this year’s–and it’s not for lack of digging around! (Ok, Hickory found it–we have to complete a survey first. Ha, good way to get us to do that!)
On the A to Z site’s master list, we are number 592 of 685 blogs that sign-up this year. It’s the first time we’ve had a theme other than local nature observations from our neighborhood in suburban Washington, D. C. Our focus on woody plants that provide our bee neighbors bigger supplies of nectar and pollen is a very timely theme, one we are seeing more frequently in your human news as insect populations decline.
This is a scary thing for us. Our favorite food–acorns–are wind pollinated, but we squirrels eat a variety of other foods as well, including a lot of other nuts, berries, and yes, insects. We bet you humans might like a variety in your diet as well. I’m sure you can see where we are headed with this: we all need to be scared…and we all need to do something to help. Anything, no matter how small you think it may be.
Our April posts included: Fifteen flowering trees that help bees. Nine flowering shrubs that help bees. One insect that feeds on a tree. One structure that you can offer to supplement bee housing. We saw another blogger list his prior year’s posts in a review, so we’re offering that here.
- [A] Red Maple, Acer rubrum
- [B] Common Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
- [C] Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa
- [D] Devil’s Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa
- [E] Common Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
- [F] White Fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus
- [G] Black Gum Tree, Nyssa sylvatica
- [H] Hawthorn, Crataegus
- [I] American Holly, Ilex opacais
- [J] Japanese Meadowsweet, Spiraea japonica
- [K] Golden Rain Tree, Koelreuteria reticulata
- [L] Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia
- [M] Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora
- [N] Norway Maple, Acer platanoides
- [O] Oak Aphids
- [P] Cherry, Prunus sp.
- [Q] Quince, Chaenomeles speciosa
- [R] Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis
- [S] Northern Spicebush, Lindera benzoin
- [T] Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera
- [U] You can help! Mason bee houses
- [V] Viburnum, Viburnum sp.
- [W] Willow, Salix sp.
- [X] Inkberry, Ilex glabra
- [Y] Blueberry, Vaccinium sp.
- [Z] Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana
The A to Z site suggested several questions that we might reflect on. We liked this one:
What was the best moment for you during this year’s challenge?
Our best moment was discovering that though we made a point about including native and honey bees, we honestly were thinking more about those hive bees, the colony dwellers. Right up until three-quarters of the way through the month when Hickory checked in on that mason bee house and discovered that the native bees were using it. That thing went up April 1st!
Within 3 weeks the bees were using half the tubes. We had no idea there were that many bees around. That many bees in need of places to lay eggs so desperately that they found this one house on a fence in one back yard.
See? Any little thing that you might do helps!
Read other 2019 A to Z Reflections here.
Thank you to Jeremy for the fantastic A to Z graphic–not just this year, but every year!
Thanks for being with us on this journey!