Western Mountains and High Plains
The Insect World
A fun summertime activity for kids is bug hunting, which brings on a variety of questions that children ask about insects. Did you know that there are more than 200 million insects for every person on the planet? That the longest insect in the world is a tropical walking stick measuring up to a foot long? These are just a couple of interesting items from the book Do Bees Sneeze? And Other Questions Kids Ask About Insects, by James K. Wangberg (Fulcrum Publishing, $17.95). Fun activities for further study are also included.
Favorite or New Plant
The bright golden-yellow blossoms of the Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) are pea-like and appear in abundance in late spring, creating an extremely showy display. The long arching stems remain green to yellow-green year-round, which presents a nice texture in all seasons. The unique linear leaves of Scotch broom give this shrub a leafless appearance. This adaptation allows the shrub to withstand windy, dry conditions. Use this shrub as a specimen plant, in a shrub border, foundation planting or anywhere where dry, poor soils pose a problem. Scotch broom has the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere so it will thrive in infertile soils. It is truly a rugged and well-adapted plant for our region. A low-growing species that is well suited for ground cover is prostrate broom (Cytisus decumbens).