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
Children learned and discovered how and why Monarchs are tagged as part of the Caterpillar Corner program led by Barb, Melitta and Kerry at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton. Just look at the expressions on the children’s faces as they release a tagged monarch butterfly. Priceless!
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores and Caterpillar Corner had lots of fun with 16 children who belong to the “For our Youth“ club of the Ripley Horticultural Society. They learned, observed and discovered all about Monarch butterflies, native plants and played citizen scientist by tagging Monarchs. Children had fun singing the BGOSS song, “Come Fly With Me” and doing activities from the popular Caterpillar Corner Activity Book. You can read more about our time together in this article from The Kincardine Record.
Children from the Ripley Youth Horticultural group had a fun time learning, discovering, observing and tagging Monarchs at Perkins Park as part of BGOSS new program, called Caterpillar Corner. Children were given copies of the CC Activity Book to help them learn and identify milkweed and native plants.
Come out and join Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores on their annual Community Tagging Day on Friday, August 31 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (rain date: Saturday, September 1, 10:00 am – 12 noon). We will start our tagging along the Captain Spence Path in Southampton where we will meet at the Big Flag.
BGOSS Nature Library is officially open. Enjoy one of our nature books as you relax at the park bench by the big flag in Southampton.
Caterpillar Corner is coming soon!
On Wednesday June 6, Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores (BGOSS) officially unveiled a Nature “Little Free” Library in Southampton. The Nature Library is located at Pod S-6 near the big flag.
According to Barb Weissman, Pod Squad Ambassador and Nature Library co-ordinator, “the library’s nature themed collection celebrates the exploration and enjoyment of nature and encourages the preservation of natural habitats. Residents and visitors will find books for all ages about North American plants, birds, insects and animals, with a special focus on monarch butterflies and gardening for pollinators.”
This beautiful piece of community art was designed by Weissman and built by master carpenter, Hans Veenvliet. Cindy McKenna, renowned local artist, adorned the library with nature themes of butterflies, a bee, a bird’s nest, flowers and a toad.
BGOSS welcomes the community to read and borrow books from the Nature Library and to return them for others to enjoy. A free bookmark is included inside each book for readers to keep. In addition, there is a yellow guest book for you to write and share your observations as you stroll along the Captain Spence Path visiting the various butterfly pods. Melitta Smole, BGOSS executive, says, “The Nature “little free” Library” is great for community engagement. Visitors and locals can enjoy nature related books on the nearby park benches while taking in the sights and sounds of the Lake Huron shoreline.”
Creators of “Nature ‘little free’ Library.” Pictured left to right. Cindy McKenna artist, Hans Veenvliet carpenter and builder, Beverly Carlisle Pod Squad Ambassador, Barb Weissman Nature Library Ambassador and Melitta Smole BGOSS executive.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores would like to invite you to the Grand Opening of our “Nature “little free” Library. This unique, one-of-a-kind library specializes in North American nature books for all age groups to enjoy.
Find out all about this exciting community library by joining us at our Grand Opening where you can meet the artist, library builder, Nature Library co-ordinator and Pod Squad Ambassadors from Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores.
Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Pod S-6 by the Big Flag in Southampton (High St)
Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, June 6 at 7:00 pm.
Text: by Ronald Orenstein
Photography: by Thomas Marent
Target audience: Adults
Thomas Marent’s photography make this book a pleasure to peruse. Ronald Orenstein’s text contains the answers to questions regarding butterflies, moths and caterpillars from around the world. The overall message continues to be that restoring habitat may be crucial for butterflies with few natural refuges left in a changing world and a warming climate. For us this means conserving larval host plants and, for flower-feeding butterflies, adult nectar sources. Create a butterfly garden in your own yard this summer!
by Stephanie Kelly
Pod Squad Ambassador
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores has donated resource materials on Monarch butterflies, native gardening, and insects to the Southampton and Port Elgin libraries as part of our “Planting Awareness” program. We have a PDF of all of the resource materials available at our libraries. Click here for the entire listing, and then checkout the books and videos from the library.