Month: June 2015

Bug Events with Greenwich Audobon

Wednesday, July 1

Fireflies – Nature’s Mini-Fireworks

8:30-9:30 pm

An ideal time of the year to learn about these special insects. Learn how and why fireflies flash and then try your skills at telling the species apart by looking at the different patterns made by the different firefly species. All ages. Space limited. RSVP to Ted at 203-869-5272 x353.

 

Sunday, July 5

North American Butterfly Count

Introduction: 10:30-11:00 am

Field Counts: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Start with an introduction to local butterflies and learn how to count scientifically from 10:30-11:00 and then head out on the Audubon Center grounds to view our butterfly-friendly habitat and conduct the count. No charge. Ages 7 & up. RSVP required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x353 by July 3. (Rain Date: TBA)

 

Sunday, July 12

Family Pond Exploration

2:00-3:30 pm

Join Audubon naturalists and get up close to frogs, dragonflies and many other species that call our nearby pond home. All ages. Equipment will be provided.  Space limited. RSVP requested to 203-869-5272 x349 or email to: greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

 

Saturday, July 25

All about Dragonflies & Damselflies

10:00-11:30 am

Join Audubon field biologist Sean Graesser when he teaches about our local dragonfly and damselfly species. Start with a slide show indoors and then hit the trails in search of these magnificent, air-born predators whose lives begin underwater! RSVP requested to 203-869-5272 x349 or email to: greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

Saturday, August 1:  

Dragon & Damselflies Survey

A Citizen Science Initiative 

Intro at 10:30 & Field Survey: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Become a citizen scientist by joining a day-long search for local dragonflies and damselflies! This annual survey on the Audubon Greenwich grounds is a great way to witness the wide variety of species living on-site and found throughout our region. Ages 7 & up. RSVP required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x353 by July 31.

 

August 1 & 2

Summertime Honey Harvest

11:00 am-4:00 pm

Each summer, beekeepers across the nation harvest honeycomb from their hives and spin the comb so they can bottle and sell the sweet treat. How do they do it? Come see when local beekeepers from the Backyard Beekeepers Club share their secrets. Stop in between 11 AM and 4 PM to see, to help and to taste! Honey and related products will be sold on-site, but supplies are limited.  All ages & no RSVP required. Audubon Members: FREE! Non-members pay only the regular admission: $3/adult or $1.50/child or Senior.

 

Sunday, August 2

Family Pond Exploration

2:00-3:30 pm

Join Audubon naturalists and get up close to frogs, dragonflies and many other species that call our nearby pond home. All ages. Equipment will be provided.  Space limited. RSVP requested to 203-869-5272 x349 or email to: greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

# # #

UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED, NATURE PROGRAM FEES ARE:

Members: $3.00/person & Non-members: $5.00/person

(Includes Trail & Center admission)

National Pollinator Week

pw15logoFINAL2Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership.

Eight years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations.  Pollinator Week has now grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. The growing concern for pollinators is a sign of progress, but it is vital that we continue to maximize our collective effort.  The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture signs the proclamation every year.

The Pollinator Partnership is also proud to announce that June 15-21, 2015 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 15-21, 2015 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Interior.

Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watershed, and more. Therefore, Pollinator Week is a week to get the importance of pollinators’ message out to as many people as possible. It’s not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Pollinators positively effect all our lives- let’s SAVE them and CELEBRATE them! 

Citizen Scientists Needed

Citizen Scientists Needed for the Vanishing Firefly Project

By Erin Weeks

Originally Published on EntomologyToday.org

 

photinus-pyralis-awFinding a mate can be hard enough in the animal kingdom, but nocturnal creatures face an added difficulty — locating potential partners in the dark. It’s a problem many insects have solved by evolving an array of mating signals that engage all of the senses: crickets chirp, moths follow pheromone trails, fireflies glow and blink.

These signals don’t just attract other insects — they’ve also become cultural touchstones for humans. Singing crickets have been immortalized in folklore across the globe, and, at least in the West, “lightning bugs” are part of what makes hot summer nights so evocative and nostalgia-inducing.

“That’s the best thing about fireflies, they’re something people around the world have strong feelings for,” said Juang-Horng “JC” Chong, an entomologist at Clemson University in South Carolina. Those strong feelings launched Chong and another Clemson professor, Alex Chow, on a project that’s turned a simple question — are fireflies disappearing? — into a national census of the iconic insect and a citizen-science success story.

The Vanishing Firefly Project began in 2010, not long after biogeochemist Chow experienced a firefly light show for the first time. Chow, who grew up in brightly lit Hong Kong, arrived at a plantation-turned-wildlife refuge on the coast of South Carolina to study nutrient dynamics. The fireflies in the rural area put on an impressive spectacle that spring. But Chow noticed fewer fireflies after prescribed burns of the property’s forest, and he wondered if there was a correlation between the insect’s habitat use and its abundance.

Read more…

The Untimely Death of a Worm

By Catherine Hallisey

Connecticut FoodCorps

 

worm-maple street school
Students at Maple Street School in Vernon love worms for helping their garden grow! Photo: Catherine Hallisey

As I was kneeling by a raised garden bed, planting snap peas with a couple of students, I heard a third grader scream “NOOOOOO!” from the other side of the garden.  An array of thoughts immediately sped through my mind in the split second it took me to get over to her section of the garden—

“Is she hurt?”

“Did someone pull a kale plant thinking it was a weed?”

“Did she accidentally pour the watering can on herself instead of our radishes?”

It turned out none of the above scenarios were what caused a quiet eight year old to yell out in fright.  When I reached her side, she had a small trowel in one hand, and a half of an earthworm in the other.  The rest of the earthworm, I presume, was somewhere left in the soil of the garden bed she had been weeding in.

This girl was absolutely heart broken that she had killed a worm.  Obviously, I too was a little upset- here I had a distraught girl in the garden, and, a dead worm.  However, I was also proud. I was proud because this student had taken to heart our number one garden rule “respect all living things” — fellow classmates, beautiful sunflowers, tasty strawberries, slimy worms, scary beetles, buzzing bees, and much, much more.    She knew that worms were good for our soil, and therefore our plants, and was disappointed that she had killed a beneficial creature.  I consoled her by explaining there were a lot of worms in our garden, and it wasn’t that big of a deal.  She decided to be more careful in the future, and then gathered the rest of the group to give the worm a proper burial in the compost bin.