This has been a busy fall for our BGOSS Community Tagging Days, volunteers tagging and our BGOSS rearing program. Chris and Sarah have sent along this Monarch Tagging Newsletter for you to read. The newsletter has lots of good information included for all of our BGOSS taggers.
We’d like to express our thanks to everyone who joined us for our 5th Community Tagging Event at Perkins Park. In total, we tagged 31 monarch butterflies and we are most grateful to all of you for making a difference.
We’re planning to host another Community Tagging Day on Friday, August 30th at Perkins Park from 10am to noon.
We hope to see you then!
Date: Friday, August 16, 2019
Time: 10:00 am – 12 noon
Location: meet at Perkins Park, Southampton
Open to people of all ages.
Nets provided by BGOSS
Pod S-16 has now been officially certified at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Southampton. The butterfly garden adorns the front entrance of the church walkway. The garden was planted to help celebrate the church’s 160th year of service in our community. As the church endeavors to fulfill the 5 Marks of Mission these gardens were planted to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. Next time you are downtown Southampton, check out this beautiful garden located on the corner of High Street and Victoria Street.
Doug Archer is writing a feature story for the August issue of the Marketplace. As the interview started a monarch was busy laying eggs in the flower head of swamp milkweed at Perkins Park. Now, how cool is that?!
BGOSS proudly announces the opening of a new Pod at the Saugeen First Nation Library and Cultural Centre in Southampton. Pod S-15 was planted by children from the libraries after school program. Noodin Root, librarian, created the concept of having a butterfly garden, trees and vegetable gardens for the community to enjoy.
Diane, Melitta and Kerry shared stories about milkweeds, native plants and sang the BGOSS song, “Come Fly With Me”, to grade 1 and 2 student from St Joseph’s School in Port Elgin. Each student was given a copy of the Caterpillar Corner Activity Book to take home with them. According to Melitta, “It is so nice to see the children get excited and have fun with nature.”
BGOSS collector’s post card #7 is now available at our Nature Lending Library and at our pod posts. This post card shows the beauty of Butterfly flower in full bloom. It is a native milkweed plant that attracts a variety of pollinating insects. This is a beautiful plant to have in your garden and it is a food source for monarch caterpillars. You can use the post card to send a message to a friend, use it as a bookmark, or place it on your fridge door.
On a brisk sunny morning the first butterfly of the season fluttered over a patch of spring flowers before disappearing into the breeze. It was a welcome sight, even if it didn’t linger.
Emerging from our cozy winter hideaways we join other hibernating and migratory species eagerly anticipating longer days and new growth. We want blooms and butterflies!
Soon we will see the return of the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores Nature “Little Free” Library. First unveiled on June 7, 2018 our Nature Library will be re-mounted on its post at the entrance to the Captain Spence trail, near the flag at the foot of High St.
Residents and visitors are invited to browse a variety of nature themed books for all ages, available to be borrowed and returned. Everyone is also welcome to take a bookmark and a copy of the popular Caterpillar Corner Activity book – both theirs to keep! If you have a garden help yourself to an envelope of seeds from several kinds of native perennial milkweed plants, collected by our pollinator partner Grange Hollow. Remember to sign the yellow guestbook.
The response to the library and its contents has been enthusiastic.
Visitors from around the world signed the guestbook in 2018, including nature lovers from South Africa, Ireland, Bosnia, Taiwan, Barbados, Austria, Colorado, Washington, Vancouver Island, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec and all over Ontario. Sadly, the original guestbook disappeared during the Civic Holiday weekend. Luckily most of the pages had been copied. Here are a few of the comments:
“This is a wonderful library with helpful informative reading for young and old.”
“Thank you for all of your efforts both towards the butterflies themselves but also the very important education piece.”
“Brilliant spot for a library – a place to relax and enjoy the lake.”
“I hope the butterflies love it as much as I do!!”
“Southampton is a magical place in all seasons. Thank you for all your hard work making it even more so!”
“Monarchs are happy this year.”
“Thank you for the activity books! Had a great day searching for pods and doing the scavenger hunt around Fairy Lake.”
“Took a stroll & came across this cute little library. What a wonderful idea.”
“Thank you so much for the packet of swamp milkweed seeds. I will add them to my garden in my effort to preserve the monarch butterfly.”
One thing we hope to improve upon this year is the book return rate. When the library was taken down for the winter in 2018 not one of the 200 purchased and donated books remained!
Our optimistic hope for 2019 is that our new selection of donated and purchased books will be read, enjoyed and then returned.
If you have any North American nature books that you are interested in donating to the library please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you at the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores Nature “Little Free” Library!
BGOSS Nature Library co-ordinator
Late in 2017 Kerry Jarvis submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources an “Application for a Wildlife Scientific Collectors Authorization for 2018 & 2019.” The application included the names of ten families who would participate in the capture, rearing and release program for Monarch Butterflies.
Kerry Jarvis and Melitta Smole founders of the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores have been instrumental in establishing the butterfly gardens you see throughout our beautiful community.
In June of 2018, Kerry approached me to see if my daughter Sarah and I would like to be the coordinators for the Family rearing program. On July 12 we met with the other nine families, discussed the intent of the program and passed out the new butterfly nets and clip boards.
Over the course of the next three months, eight out of ten families released ninety-four adult Monarch Butterflies. Although we had the eggs and caterpillars in ideal conditions free from predators, we still had some mortality. The mortality rate was far below what the eggs and caterpillars would have experienced in the wild.
We did learn that as the caterpillars enter their final stage, they are ferocious eaters. They will eat every piece of milk weed in its path including the very small eggs on the leaves.
Watching the caterpillar morph into its final stage is a remarkable experience. It’s one thing to watch it on YouTube and yet something else to see it in real life. Releasing the butterflies can be a challenge full of fun!
Submitted by: Chris and Sarah Poole