Friday, September 7, 2012

Carl Kurtz's Photo Essay: Mating Monarchs

In preparation for the upcoming second edition of A Practical Guide to Prairie Restoration by Carl Kurtz, we're excited to be sharing Carl's beautiful photos and observations about nature!

Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa that is one of the few prairie seed sources in the Midwest.

For most birds, mammals and insects the season for reproduction is spring or summer.  In the case of butterflies it is late spring or summer when there is an abundance of food for the larval stages, nectar for adults and warm temperatures to promote activity.  While much of the insect world goes about its business unnoticed, monarch butterflies are banded and monitored by individuals across the country.  They are a favorite among school children and likely have been studied more than any other butterfly species. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Farm at Holstein Dip Excerpt

Household life centered in the kitchen where we sat down to three meals daily. It had a table, chairs, cook stove, wood box, cupboards, and sink. a hand pump drew rainwater from a cistern in all seasons, but a drain to the septic field could be used only in frost-free months. At other times, Mother put a slop bucket under the enclosed sink and emptied it daily. White enameled wainscoting, curtains, wallpaper, and linoleum on the uneven floor brightened the room. Besides two entrances, four doorways opened to the rest of the house. One led to a pantry where a trapdoor covered the steep cellar stairway and a white porcelain pail for drinking water brought from the spring-fed outside well stood on a table. By the back entry, a door closed on the stairway landing where Father hung his work clothes.

An excerpt from "Home," in Carroll Englehardt's The Farm at Holstein Dip