Reference my post Why the Colors of Fall. This year here in East Central Wisconsin one can really see a difference in the colors of fall. The wet year we’ve had has produced variations in leaf color and the recent mild temperatures have slowed the change. But if you look closely, here and there you’ll find some bright oranges and beautiful golden yellows.
To lighten the doldrums from the cool, rainy days we’ve been experiencing, I thought I’d share this short video with you just to cheer your day. September 19, 2019 was (we thought) the last day we saw the hummingbird. He visited with us as we ate lunch. I took this video through the kitchen window as he was busily nectaring on the last of the Spotted Jewelweed. Another good reason to like this prolific plant — late summer blossoms.
But it wasn’t the last day! Every three or four days, we see a hummingbird again at our nectar feeder. The orioles are long gone, but we left the nectar feeder up for the bees and for hummingbirds, apparently, traveling south from Canada.
This is the time of year our thoughts turn to collecting seed from our prairies. Project Wingspan could use our help. They are looking for enthusiastic seed collecting volunteers in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to help collect seeds from milkweed and other common forage plants.
Project Wingspan: Landscape Enhancement for Imperiled Pollinators of the Midwest (Wingspan) is a two-year project sponsored by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through the non-profit Pollinator Partnership. The goal is to engage public land managers and private land stewards, throughout the eight state target region of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to enhance and secure 10,000, acres of high-quality Monarch, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee and other imperiled pollinator habitat.
This short-term seed collection project is designed to increase the interest and skill in collecting seed to be used for restoration and enhancement efforts. Wingspan builds on the success Pollinator Partnership and its team of core partners have had in building a regional seed collection program in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana through a previously funded NFWF project, Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest.
All seed generated from this project will be used to support the development of geographically appropriate native plant materials for the enhancement of 10,000 acres of Monarch, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee and other imperiled pollinator habitat.
Project Wingspan has developed a series of webinars and a training manual to assist volunteers who which to collect seed for this project to become certified Project Wingspan volunteers. The project has targeted twenty-nine plant species (Appendix A of training manual) and six states (Appendix J of training manual) for seed collection.
This post has been reprinted in part from the Pollinator Action Team newsletter dated 9/30/2019.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has declared that our habitat development has added up to a good summer for monarchs
“Wisconsin’s ‘supergeneration’ of monarchs are now flying 1,700 miles to their overwintering sites in Mexico where official population counts will be taken. Already, citizen reports to Journey North* show monarch numbers were impressive during this summer’s breeding period.
Thank you to everyone who planted or maintained milkweed and other native plants in 2019 to aid monarchs and other pollinators. You are making a difference!
- To follow the monarch’s incredible journey and learn more about why 2019 is shaping up to be a good year for monarchs, visit Journey North.
- To report your monarch habitat and be added to the tally for Wisconsin, download HabiTally** on your iOS device today.
The information above was taken from the Natural Heritage Conservation newsletter dated 10/3/2019.
See also Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative.
*Journey North is a web-based platform tracking migration in real-time, now hosted by the UW-Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin.
**HabiTally is a new mobile app that helps ensure all habitat efforts for Monarchs are documented.
- The data entered through HabiTally will be shared with USFWS to be considered in the listing decision on monarch butterflies
- The information collected will be made anonymous and aggregated at the county level across the eastern migratory region