June In the Fields | A Note From Scott

June 28, 2019
Quail Hill Farm

As I was seeding the next round of summer vegetables on Birch Hill—carrots, radish, hakurei turnips, arugula, bush beans, soy beans, and beets—I heard a “Wha-Hoo!” from the adjacent field.

It was our friend, Leslie Allee, down from Cornell (Ithaca) on an advance mission, scouting for the elusive 9-Spot Ladybug. She found one: this very beneficial insect species seems to favor Cosmos and other flowers decorated with frilly greenery. Leslie will return in July—read further on in this newsletter to learn more of the “Lost Ladybug” project, and of the rare 9-spotted ladybug, New York State’s official insect, that loves Quail Hill Farm.

The flowering plant that I favor—Liriodendron tulipifera—has grown to an impressive height near to the fence toward the northeast corner of Birch Hill. This “Tulip Tree” was kindly left for us to admire by one Bob Strubel who once tended the tree nursery here, where now we plant and cultivate food crops for you.

This fast growing species, part of the Magnolia family, can eventually reach a height of 150’ (one southern specimen, at 191.9’ is reported to be the tallest Angiosperm in North America). I waited for about 25 years to witness the tulip-like flowers for which this tree is named. As a protective measure Liriodendron apparently delays flowering until the tree has created some substantial space between ground and sky. It is well worth the wait. The yellow-orange flowers, kind of waxen yet delicate, now sing in the tree up to the highest branches, expressive, secure, and as lovely as a summer’s day.



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