Buzz N` Bloom 6.2 - Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic
What is Pollination?
By Melissa Drozd
Pollination is the act of
transferring grains of pollen from the
male part of the flower which is the
anther, to the female part of the flower
which is the stigma. Flowers are the
tools that plants use to make their
seeds. Seeds can be produced when
pollen is transferred between flowers
of the same species.
P o ll i n at or s s u c h as b e e s ,
butterflies, moths and even bats will
carry pollen from one flower to
another. With bees, for example, the
pollen gets stuck to their feet when
they land on one flower and then they
transfer that pollen to other flowers
they land on.
According to Sunset.com, there are
a few plants that are best for
pollinators such as butterfly weed and
the sunflower. Butterfly weed has a
beautiful yellow-orange cluster of
flowers. Many years ago its tough root
was chewed by Indians as a cure for
pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments
(www.wildflower.org). The sunflower
is a more well-known pollinator.
During its growth, it will tilt toward the
sun, but once its done growing, it will
tilt no more. By the time they are
mature, they generally face east.
It's not always an insect or animal
that pollinates. Anemophily is the act
of wind currents distributing pollen
that is light and non sticky. There are
many crop plants that are wind
pollinators such as wheat, corn, and
oats. Read “Turning Leaves” on page 5
to learn more.
Why is pollination beneficial to
human life? We partially depend on
bees, birds and bats for 35% of the
worlds crop production. Human
nutrition is vital and pollination gives
us the nutrients we need that come
from the fruit, nuts and seeds we eat
Bees have a very hard work ethic
and are important to our every day
lives considering they pollinate onesixth of flowering plant species
wor ldwid e and 40 0 differ ent
agricultural types of plants
(www.onegreenplanet.org). A few
crops we would miss out on if bees of
all types did not pollinate our food
sources would be onion, broccoli, and
There ar e many types of
pollinators and many reasons why
plants and flowers get pollinated, but
when pollination occurs is interesting
in and of itself. From the first hints of
warmth in late winter through spring
and summer, until last call in autumn,
flowering plants are available to their
pollinators providing pollen and nectar
in exchange for the pollination service.
Pollination activity during the day
is usual but what can happen at
nighttime sometimes is remarkable.
Two researchers discovered that
pollination in a plant species of
Ephedra is correlated with the full
moon (www.earthsky.org). So far, no
other plant waits for a full moon in
order to get pollinated. The plant is
pollinated by nocturnal insects such as
moths because the plant produces
globules of sugary substances that the
insects are attracted to which shimmer
in the moonlight.
Climate change is something we as
humans contributed to and face daily.
Thankfully, pollinators have different
traits and responses to atmospheric
transitions. With so many diverse
pollinators, we minimize the risks of
climate change because there will be
pollinators that can thrive in current, as
well as future, conditions.
Pollination overall is good for
animals, its good for the Earth and its
good for human beings.
Pg 2 Photography | Pg 4 Pollinator Value | Pg 7 Classes
By Barb Carberry
When we decided on pollination as this quarter’s theme,
we also agreed that an appropriate hobby to accompany this
theme is photography. It’s true that many photographers
come to Lake Katherine to capture images of special people
and events. Many others prefer general nature photos
focusing on the swans, ducklings, and wildflowers. But the
type of photography we want to consider here is digital
macro photography, which generally means extremely “close
up” photography of very small subjects. The size of the
subject in the photo is life size or greater allowing us to
actually see pollen transferring to a bee’s legs or a
hummingbird’s tongue collecting nectar.
The person who immediately
bee on goldenrod,
c a m e t o m i n d f o r h e r Carpenter
by Jeanne Muellner, Autumn,
p h o t o g r a p h y w a s J e a n n e 2014
Muellner, a long time Orland
Grassland volunteer. Seasonally,
Jeanne shares her digital photo
collection with volunteers, and I
remembered recently seeing some
great pollinator shots from her
Autumn, 2014 collection.
Jeanne says she started
photogr aphing at Or land
Grassland with her “point and
shoot” Nikon Coolpix because
she purposefully wanted to keep a
photographic record of how the restoration was working to
bring back more and more native birds, flowers, insects, and
wildlife. After a couple years, she upgraded her equipment
and added lens options which
allow for closer views. Now she
says that she still lets the
“camera do most of the work”
except for the light in each
photo which she adjusts using
ISO sensitivity settings. Jeanne
Orange Sulfur butterfly on New
added that she now composes
her pictures more deliberately
while still reflecting the reality of each image as it exists
naturally. Finally, she commented that she often has to
invest a lot of time taking multiple shots and depend on
serendipity to capture her perfect image.
Another local photographer, John Ondracek, shared
several of his macro photographs. We included this
hummingbird which was taken with a 1/1000 of a second
shutter speed. John says that
he enjoys nature photography
and often presents his work at
art and craft shows. So, if you
are someone who enjoys
photography and uses more
than your smart phone to take
pictures, check your camera
for a “macro” setting and look
for the pollinators!
MATCH THE POLLINATOR
1) Hummingbird _______
2) Beetle _______
A. Water Lily
3) Bee _______
4) Butterfly _______
(Answers: 1.C, 2. A, 3. B, 4. D)
By Barb Carberry
Many of us enjoy the beauty of
flowers in our backyard and
community gardens, but we often don’t
understand the role our gardens play in
providing habitats for pollinators.
Although pollen is carried by the wind,
and some plants are self-pollinating,
about 90% of flowering plants require
assistance for pollination which comes
primarily from native insect pollinators
such as bees, butterflies, moths,
hummingbirds, beetles, wasps and even
Many pollinator populations have
declined due to habitat loss, disease,
and inappropriate pesticide use. We
must realize that pollinators are vital to
maintaining healthy ecosystems,
assisting plant reproduction, and aiding
genetic diversity in the plants they
pollinate. A gardener with even a small
plot will increase the number of
pollinators in the area by including
plants that provide essential habitats
So here are a few guidelines for
choosing plants to use as pollinator
Use local native plants. These are
more attractive to pollinators than
exotic flowers. They provide nectar
to pollinating bees and butterflies,
food to caterpillars, and nutrition
Plant flowers in clumps. This will
attract more pollinators than
individual flowers dispersed
throughout the garden.
Plant flowers with different shapes.
Different pollinators favor flowers
specific to their anatomy.
Choose a variety of flower colors
to appeal to different pollinators.
Plant so that something will be
blooming from early spring
through late fall.
The U.S. Forest Service has
divided the country into districts, and
our area is #5 “Eastern Broadleaf
Forest Province.” Some specific native
plants the Forest Service lists that
thrive in our area and attract a variety
of pollinators are: asters, blazing star,
Virginia bluebells, beardtongue,
bergamot, coneflowers, columbine,
coreopsis, goldenrod, Joe Pye weed,
lobelia, milkweed, and sunflowers
among others. Add a few of these
native plants to your garden and expect
to see some pollinators!
This year, National Pollinator
Week is being celebrated June 15 – 21.
Many activities for this event are
shared at “Pollinator Partnership”
www.pollinator.org . Also, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture Forest
Service (www.fs.fed.us) provides the
table below to help identify the flower
characteristics that attract specific
pollinators. Use the information to
match the pollinator with one of its
Dull white, green Bright white,
yellow, blue, or
Dull white or
red or white
red and purple
Pale and dull to
dark brown or
Pale and dull red, Dull green,
purple, pink or
emitted at night
None to strongly None
fruity or fetid
Faint but fresh
emitted at night
Modest in amount Limited
shaped – closed
Large bowl-like, Large funnel like; Narrow tube with Shallow; funnel
landing platform; Magnolia
spur; wide landing like or complex
without a lip
smooth, and not
PUTTING AN ECONOMIC VALUE ON POLLINATION
By Abbie Schrotenboer
Have you ever stopped to watch a bumble bee visit a tomato flower? The bee aids the plant by releasing pollen and
potentially carrying it to another plant, and the bee benefits by getting pollen to eat. Of course, the human growing the
tomato also benefits because tomato production increases. How does this benefit to humans look on a larger scale?
Researchers have estimated that insect pollinators contribute $29 billion a year to the U.S. economy due to increases in crop
production from pollination.
Some crops, like apples and blueberries, are entirely dependent on insect pollination to produce fruits. Others, like
tomatoes and grapes, can self-pollinate to some extent but are more productive with cross-pollination. The honeybee, which
is actually a native of Europe, is a key player in much of this work, but native bees and insects can be important, too.
Pumpkin and squash are almost entirely pollinated by native insects. Based on the value of these two crops alone, native
pollinators contribute to over $200 million worth of produce.
These insects are providing an important service that helps put dollars in the pockets of farmers and food on our plates.
How should we react to this knowledge? Hopefully, it begins to give us a sense of all the natural world is providing for us
and, in this specific case, urges efforts at pollinator conservation. What can be done to ensure continued pollination of our
crops? We need to consider how the use of pesticides can negatively affect pollinator populations. In addition, native
pollinators need habitat to support their needs throughout the season (not just when a particular crop is blooming). This can
be provided by protecting existing natural areas and planting native flowers, such as in prairie gardens.
Of course the value of insects goes beyond the ways they benefit humans, but by looking at their economic value, we
can gain a new appreciation of just how important their work is.
HOW PLANTS ATTRACT POLLINATORS
By Shamim Graff
Many plants depend on pollinators
to get pollen from one flower to
another. Over time, plants have
evolved several ways of attracting
pollinators to them.
We often enjoy the scent of
flowers blooming in the spring, but the
scent isn’t there for our pleasure.
Plants use their unique scents to attract
the specific pollinators. There’s a
reason bees are attracted to sugar – it
smells sweet like flowers. But not all
flowers smell pleasing. There are some
plants that smell distinctly like carrion,
which works in their favor to attract
flies to pollinate them.
Some plants and insects have
grown to depend on each other over
millions of years of evolution. Some
plants have developed mutually
beneficial relationships with certain
insects. Others have evolved in ways
that allow only a single pollinator
species to pollinate that plant. Such is
the case with figs and fig wasps. Each
species of fig can only be pollinated by
its own unique species of wasp.
Getting a “Buzz”
Scientists have found that plants
that produce caffeine help their
pollinators’ memories. In the case of
bees, they are more likely to remember
plants that have just enough caffeine to
act as a stimulant, but not enough so as
to taste bad, and will come back to that
species again and again.
While we cannot see in the
ultraviolet range, many insects and
birds can. Plants take advantage of this
by having markings that can only be
seen with ultraviolet vision. For
example, a dandelion looks uniformly
yellow to us, but to a bee, it is more
colorful in the center – the area that
the plant needs the bees to land.
Photos above by Rørslett
By Jim Reichel
What is Anemophily?
Anemophily, or wind pollination,
is a form of pollination by which pollen
is dispersed by the wind. Many of the
world's most important crop plants are
wind-pollinated. These include wheat,
rice, corn, rye, barley, and oats. Many
economically important trees, such as
pines, spruces, firs, and many
hardwood trees, are also windpollinated. Several species cultivated
for nut production are also windpollinated.
Wind-pollinated plants do not
invest resources in showy flowers,
nectar, and scent. These flowers are
usually very small and often overlooked
since they do not need to attract insects
or birds. Instead, they produce larger
quantities of light, dry
pollen from small, plain
flowers that can be
carried on the wind.
Pollen produced by
these plants is of very
low nutritional benefit
to insects, having low
protein content, and
usually will only be
gathered by insects
when other pollen
sources are scarce. The
pollen of these plants
frequently brings out symptoms of hay
fever among those sensitive to pollen.
Another type of pollination is
s ur fa c e h ydr o phi l y, or w ate r
pollination, and is relatively rare in the
United States. Flowers release pollen, and imagined the ideal daisy – one that
and the grains passively float to had very large pure-white flowers, a
another flower. Flowers need to make long blooming period, and did well
a lot of pollen in order to increase their both as a cut flower and garden plant.
chances of the plant reproducing. As In order to achieve his goals he used
with wind pollination,
four different plants. First
plants that use water for
he took the oxeye daisy
pollination do not need
and cross-pollinated it
to expend a lot of energy
with the English field
producing bright colors
daisy, which had larger
or smells to attract
flowers than the oxeye
insects for reproduction.
daisy. The best of these
hybrids were then dusted
pollination occurs in
with pollen from the
Portuguese field daisy and
pondweeds. In a very
their seedlings were bred
few cases, pollen travels
selectively for six years.
underwater. Many of the
These bloomed nicely, but
water-pollinated plants have become Mr. Burbank wasn’t yet satisfied. He
invasive throughout the United States.
wanted whiter, brighter flowers. So he
Plants may also be hand-pollinated took the most promising of these triple
by humans when natural pollination is hybrids and pollinated them with the
insufficient or undesirable. Luther Japanese field daisy, a species with
Burbank (1849-1923) was a pioneer in small, pure-white flowers. Finally, he
this method of pollination for got the beautiful large white daisy that
development of new strains and he was hoping for. He named it for the
varieties of plants. His fame as an lovely glistening snow covered Mount
inventor of new fruits, plants, and Shasta in Northern California and
flowers has inspired world-wide finally introduced his Shasta daisy
interest in plant breeding. He also held hybrids in 1901.
several plant patents on different types
of potatoes and other fruits and “The scientist is a lover of truth for the
very love of truth itself, wherever it
As a boy Luther Burbank also had may lead.” —Luther Burbank
a great fondness for the wild oxeye
daisies that grew under the elm tree in
front of his family home. Years later,
Luther was inspired to develop these
wildflowers for use as garden flowers,
By Jim Reichel
What do the Santa Rosa plum, the Idaho potato, the Shasta daisy, elephant
garlic, and a three cent U.S. stamp have in common?
If you said Luther Burbank, you are correct. Born in Lancaster, Massachusetts on
March 7, 1849, Luther Burbank was an American botanist, horticulturist, and pioneer in
agricultural science. He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his
55-year career. His varied creations included grains, fruits, grasses, flowers, and vegetables
including a spineless cactus that is useful as cattle-feed.
At the age of 21 he purchased a 17-acre tract about 10 miles from Lancaster and
quickly developed the Burbank, or Idaho, potato – now the world’s most popular. He
sold the rights to the potato for $150 in order to travel to California settling in Santa
Though he married twice, he did not have any children with either wife. In midMarch 1926, he suffered a heart attack, became ill with gastrointestinal complications, and
died on April 11, 1926, at the age of 77. He is buried near the greenhouse at the Luther
Burbank Home and Gardens in Santa Rosa.
Luther Burbank taught at Stanford University from 1904 to 1906. In 1940, the U.S.
Postal Service issued a 3-cent stamp honoring him. In 1986, Luther Burbank was
inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In California, his birthday is
celebrated as Arbor Day and trees are planted in his memory.
AROUND THE LAKE
By Gareth Blakesley
It’s been a busy season this spring
at Lake Katherine. We have had several
projects going on, including:
Our nature play area, funded by a
KaBOOM! Let’s Play grant and
A pollinator habitat restoration
project, as part of a National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation grant
Landscaping around the new
Some of these projects have now been
completed, while others we will
continue working on over the coming
weeks and months. All of these have
brought some great changes to our
Of course, these projects do not
even take into account our regular
spring work, including garden
preparations, trail maintenance and
invasive species removal. It was also
planting season with 40 native tree
Below: Play area under construction in the Children’s Forest; Above: Black-crowned night heron
saplings planted in and around our
grounds, as well as a variety of tree
dedications. It’s important to get all of
our trees in now, as we usually don’t
plant later in the season to give the
trees a bit of time to establish
Spring is also the time of year
when wildlife really starts to come
back. The black-crowned night heron
(a state-listed endangered species) is
back and is fishing in our moving water
ways. You may also see three other
species of heron, including great blue
heron, green heron and bitterns. It is
also the time of year when spring
migrant warblers come through,
including Baltimore orioles.
Preschoolers (ages 3-6) and their favorite
adult exploring nature together. Preregistration and payment is required. Space
is limited. Cost: $5.
A Walk in the Waterfall
We’ll put on our boots and make a splash
investigating the movement of the water.
We supply the boots for the children;
parents please wear sturdy old tennis shoes
Thur., July 16 9:30am-10:30am
Fri., July 17
Sat., July 18 10:30am-11:30am
In a Grasshopper’s World
After looking at grasshoppers indoors,
we’ll journey out to the prairie and herb
garden to see who else has six legs and
three body parts. Sing a grasshopper song
and make a grasshopper project, too.
Thur., Aug. 6 9:30am-10:30am
Fri., Aug. 7
Sat., Aug. 8
Programs for school age children. Part of
your time will be spent outdoors so dress
appropriately. Pre-registration required.
Discover the wonderful world of ants and
their habitats through activities and
Prgm# Grade Date
K-5 Wed., June 10 3:45-4:45pm
Tom Sawyer Style Fishing
Try your hand at fishing, catch and release
style. Poles and bait will be provided.
Prgm# Grade Date
K-3 Wed., June 17 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., June 17 3:00-4:00pm
K-3 Wed., July 8 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., July 8 3:00-4:00pm
K-2 Wed., Aug. 12 1:00-2:00pm
3-5 Wed., Aug. 12 3:00-4:00pm
Along the Shore
Take a hike on the shores of Lake
Katherine using water nets to collect
specimens. We will examine the specimens
using our new microscope and dissecting
Prgm# Grade Date
K-3 Wed., June 24 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., June 24 3:00-4:00pm
K-3 Wed., July 15 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., July 15 3:00-4:00pm
K-3 Wed., Aug. 26 3:45-4:45pm
Walking in the Waterfall
Make a splash investigating the movement
of the water in our waterfall. Please wear
clothes that can get wet. We supply the
boots for the children.
Prgm# Grade Date
K-3 Wed., July 1 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., July 1 3:00-4:00pm
K-3 Wed., July 29 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., July 29 3:00-4:00pm
K-3 Wed., Aug. 19 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., Aug. 19 3:00-4:00pm
A fun way to transfer the colors of plants
and flowers onto fabric. Our art project
will start with a hike to find a variety of
colors of plant leaves, stems and flowers
and then we will use a mallet to press the
plant material onto fabric.
Prgm# Grade Date
K-3 Wed., July 22 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., July 22 3:00-4:00pm
Six-legged creatures are fabulous! Using
magnifiers, we will look closely at
grasshoppers and then hike outside with
nets to capture insects and let them go.
Prgm# Grade Date
K-3 Wed., Aug. 5 1:00-2:00pm
4-5 Wed., Aug. 5 3:00-4:00pm
Hands on Natural Fun Day Camps
Learn about the natural world through
games, crafts and daily exploration.
Investigate creates, walk in the waterfall,
run through the prairie and fish in the lake.
We have camps available for children ages
5 through 15. Camp size is limited to 15
children each session. Visit our website or
stop by the Nature Center to learn more.
Family Stargazing Nights
We will be hosting family astronomy
nights. Outdoor viewing with telescopes to
see various planets and the first phase of
the moon. Cost: Donation
Saturday, June 27th 8:00pm
Saturday, July 25th 8:00pm
Saturday, Aug. 22nd 7:00pm
Lake Katherine is proud to offer a number
programs on various topics and designed
specially for adults - brought to you by the
Natural Resources Committee. Each class
is $5 per person unless otherwise
stated. Pre-registration is required.
Tried angling but want to expand into flycasting? Natural Resources Committee
Member Mike Littman will share the
rudiments of fly-casting, revealing useful
tools and techniques.
Sat., June 20 10:00am-12:00pm
Dragonfly / Butterfly Walk
Learn the secrets of these hugely beneficial
insects! Operations Manager Gareth
Blakesley will lead a walk through the
gardens, prairie and wetland of Lake
Katherine pointing out brightly colored
and beautiful dragonflies and butterflies.
Sat., July 11 10:00am-12:00pm
Operations Manager Gareth Blakesley will
reveal the secrets of the lake as he guides
us on a unique tour before sunset pointing
out the species that start to come out to
play around dusk. Spots are limited to a
total of 27 people with three single person
kayaks available on a first come, first
served basis. Canoes seat three people each
and parties may be split up to fill all seats.
*$8 per person
Sat., July 31 6:00-7:30pm
Learn more about all of our education programs at www.lakekatherine.org/activities.cfm
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
7402 West Lake Katherine Drive
Palos Heights, IL 60463
Buzz n’ Bloom Quarterly is produced
with the support of the Natural
Resources Management Committee.
The Natural Resources Management
Committee’s mission is to promote,
improve, and fundraise in regards to all
matter pertaining to Lake Katherine’s
Canoeing and Kayaking - All Summer
Have you ever seen Lake Katherine from a boat? Give it a try by renting a canoe
or kayak ($8 per hour per person with a one-hour minimum).
Family Fishing Day Saturday, June 6th
8am - 3pm
Enjoy family fun fishing the entire shore for muskie, catfish, walleye and bass
during our catch and release fundraiser. All day and half day tickets available.
Saturday, August 22nd
9am - 12pm
Meet Lake Katherine at the parking lot west of the police department to recycle
electronics and prescription drugs. We will also be shredding and recycling paper.
Sunday, September 13th
11am - 4:30pm
Save the date now for our annual fall festival celebrating the Monarch migration
down to Mexico.
Lake Katherine is owned and supported by the City of Palos Heights and managed by the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic
Gardens, a non-profit , tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization.