Elk Rapids Almanac-August 2018
August 20-Thriving in a local front yard, this cupflower plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a species of perennial flowering plant native to eastern and central North America, with triangular toothed leaves and daisy-like yellow flowers in summer. It looks very similar to sunflowers and is constantly brimming with hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The name “cup flower” refers to its ability to catch rainwater in its leaves and let it flow onto the leaves below. Compared to the surrounding garden, it looks like a misplaced tropical plant. The cup plant is listed as a threatened species in Michigan, but is listed as a prohibited, highly invasive plant species in New York State. _Royce Ragland.
August 23-This last month has been filled with sightings of amazing creatures: four river otters played in the river under the white footbridge leading to the library; three raccoons scavenged for mulberries in the tree in our front yard; two herons stood guard where the river runs into the bay; and a lone eagle perched at the top of a tree along the beach in Memorial Park.
As well, wildlife has been abundant in the flower gardens and at the bird feeders in the yard. Several varieties of woodpeckers have been stopping by for a bite from the feeders, and the hummingbirds are daily visitors to the late season flocks. _Terri Reisig.
August/September-When should you stop feeding hummingbirds in Michigan? The standard answer used to be to take down the feeders after Labor Day to encourage your little guests to move on...but that actually isn't a good idea, because you will want to not only give your own backyard hummingbirds a final shot of calories/energy before they leave your vicinity, but also help migrating hummingbirds from more northern locales who make a stop in your area before moving on. Migration is triggered by the shorter days; it creates hormonal changes in the hummingbirds prompting them to fly south; the presence of your hummingbird feeder isn't going to override that call of nature. So -- short answer -- keep your feeder filled with nectar for about two weeks after your own local hummers leave; that will ensure that late travelers through your area can get refueled en route to the South. _Answers.com
NOTE: Did you know that humming birds which weigh only about as much as a dime can fly 500 miles non-stop over the Gulf of Mexico during migration? _ Saving Birds Thru Habitat.