Where fliers tune in for a landing
If you plant parsley, fennel, carrots or dill, you may start seeing black swallowtails swooping in. Plant snapdragons, and you'll increase your chances of attracting the common buckeye. Once butterflies move into your yard, you can observe their behavior, take photos and even post your sightings online. Creating a butterfly garden is simple. You will need:
Butterflies also are very nearsighted and are more attracted to large stands of a particular flower than to single blossoms. Avoid using insecticides and herbicides in or near your butterfly garden. Here are some suggested plants that butterflies prefer for larval foods and nectaring foods for adults:
Do you think you are the only one with an itchy nose and watery eyes? For pets with allergies, spring is no picnic either. Atopy or canine atopic dermatitis is the second most common form of skin allergy in dogs after flea allergy dermatitis. It occurs when hypersensitive dogs come into contact with common allergens in the environment, resulting in skin inflammation and itching that usually recurs seasonally. Dogs with allergies may show the following symptoms:
Managing pet allergies can be difficult and may require lifelong therapy. Treatment depends on the animal's sensitivity and length of the allergy season. Avoiding the offending allergen is the most effective control but may be impractical or impossible. Other treatments include anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics or antifungals for skin infections, shampoos and immunotherapy (injecting small doses of an allergen extract so your pet's immune system becomes less reactive to the problem allergens).
Your dog Thor might think he is a god, until the thunder roars. Then he cowers under the bed, trembling, drooling and hiding from an unseen danger. Thunderstorm phobia is a common behavioral problem for dogs. The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association cites several breeds that may be predisposed to a fear of storms. These include herding dogs such as collies and German shepherds, and hounds such as beagles and basset hounds. The study also suggests a fear of storms is common in sporting and working breeds. To help a dog that may be afraid of thunder, try the following:
You may need to talk to a veterinarian. A prescription sedative could be necessary in severe phobia cases.
Natasha Kassulke is associate editor of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.