Crossing your fingers that lots of butterflies, birds, and bees will visit your outdoor space this summer? Integrating native plants into your backyard is the secret to building habitats for these pollinators. Plus, natives are affordable and just as beautiful as the usual garden plant suspects.
If you’ve popped into Bazaar in in Hampden, you know that some of their offerings are truly, well, bizarre. It’s a carefully curated oddities and curiosities shop. And that can mean everything from jewelry made from quail feet, to civil war era doctors’ tools, to all manner of preserved specimens peering out at you from jars of formaldehyde. We love Bazaar because it functions as a perfect blend of antique store, museum, and place-you-can-actually-find-cool-stuff. But they don’t just sell cool stuff– they also offer the opportunity to learn how to make your own. Like with their DIY taxidermy workshops, for example.
World renowned Ladew Topiary Gardens is always a great place to bring the kids. After all, there’s plenty of space to run around, hide behind giant hedges, and appreciate the Alice in Wonderland-esque topiary masterpieces. But now there’s even more at Ladew to thrill the little ones. So this year’s Children’s Day also marks the opening of Ladew’s new Butterfly House. Dare we say it’s Ladew’s most eagerly anticipated family event yet? We think it just might be. After all, it’s a day long celebration of caterpillars and butterflies– those perennial kid favorites. Not that we as adults would turn down an afternoon of wondering at these most gorgeous members of the insect world ourselves. So save the date (Saturday, September 6) for Ladew’s most aflutter family day ever.
The mild winter and early spring might be putting people in a good mood, but it’s taking a toll in unexpected places. Take the butterflies, for example. When snow melts early (or never comes in the first place), flowers can bud too soon. If a late-season frost happens to hit, the flowers are killed, meaning that there’s less nectar overall for the butterflies to chow down on. And that means fewer butterflies overall.
According to David Inouye, a University of Maryland biology professor and co-author of a recent study on the Mormon fritillary butterfly, the warm winters can account for more than 80 percent of the butterflies’ population decline. In other words, climate change has a very direct — and surprisingly strong — effect on insect life, even in the case of bugs that only live for a season. “We already can predict that this coming summer will be difficult for the butterflies,” said Inouye’s co-author, Carol Boggs.
No one likes going to the doctor — but sometimes there’s a good reason to stop into that office. Recent research out of Johns Hopkins shows that when adults accompany their aging parents to routine office visits with doctors, their loved ones get better care. According to the study, these companions help provide information to the doctor, ask the doctor questions, and explain the doctor’s instructions to their loved ones. Older, less-educated patients were less likely to have a consistent companion taking them to the doctor, as were patients with multiple chronic ailments.
In other words, improving care isn’t just a doctor-patient issue. “Initiatives to improve older adults’ quality of chronic illness care have typically focused on improving health care professional and patient competencies, and have ignored the fact that Medicare beneficiaries often manage their health conditions and attend routine physician visits with a family member, predominantly a spouse or an adult child,” said Jennifer Wolff, lead author of the study and a professor at Johns Hopkins’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.