Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Tough Morning

We are most grateful for the faithful support of Cathy C, and Joan as we spent this morning on on vine removal and trimming the overgrown plants.  This is hot nasty work, requiring tugging, pulling, and grubbing amongst the roses and the overgrowth.  The milkweed is covered with white flies due to the lack of air circulation.  Thankfully, Pct 4 staff Roger and Dustin  helped remove the piles of cuttings we created.  Thank you guys!  
Please note the picture of the 2 1/2 inch spider that was resting under the Betty Gonzales Roses.  He may not be poisonous but his bite will certainly hurt.  So gloves are good and always look before you put your hands into the beds. 
Some contrasting pictures, starting with what a nicely maintained garden area looks like. This was taken on Saturday at Mercer Arboretum.  Things are beautiful there.  It is worth the trip.

And these are before/after from this morning's work.  Things are starting to look reasonable again. July 31 is not an ideal date for this kind of work but it badly "needed doing"

Maintenance and the lack of volunteers willing to do it continues to be a significant issue.  In other words your help, short or long term,  time or money, is needed to keep this public garden going.  If you would like to receive emails regarding work days, have questions or comments,  please email...    ABCS.Park@att.net

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tackling Vines at Park

On Tuesday July 31st at 8:30 a.m. we will be working the first step in vine control.  A small test patch will be cut and sprayed in hopes of eradicating that area of vines and ready the soil for planting in September.  Please wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves for rose protection.

As a reminder, this is a public garden, funding is through individual support with time and money.  These are tough times but you can help by signing up with the Kroger Program.  See the June 14th posting for details.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Current Condition

I turned off the irrigation system following the heavy rains on July 13.  And stopped by again this morning to turn it back on.   This time I took some pictures in case others of you might not have visited in a while. The bench can likely be repaired by the park guys, eventually.

The flowers are certainly "healthy" and spreading.

And, once again, the weed vines are choking out what is left of the roses.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Update on Monarch Watch

I checked the garden this morning to see how it is holding up with all the rain.  Other than being rather overgrown, things look very wet but otherwise OK.   The following is a report we recently got from the Monarch Watch organization.  It has some useful links:

Greetings Monarch Watchers!

It has been a while and it seems we have quite a bit to say, but we'll try to keep it brief...maybe we'll save back a few things for next month :-)

Monarch Population Status
What a spring it was - the warmest in 117 years of record keeping and the warmest 12 months ever recorded in the United States. In response to the warm conditions the plants and insects made early appearances. Some plants bloomed 6 weeks early, others a more modest 2 weeks. Most insects appear to have kept pace including monarchs that arrived 2-3 weeks early over most of the northern breeding range - raising the possibility of a large fall migration - maybe the last big migration of this decade.

Climatologists are telling us that hotter summers with strong droughts are ahead and that won't be good for monarchs. Habitat decline will continue as well - so let's tag while we can!

Monarch Tagging Kits
Tags for the 2012 tagging season have been manufactured and orders for them are coming in rapidly. If you would to tag this fall, please order your tags as soon as possible. If your fellow monarch enthusiasts see a large migration shaping up, we are likely to be out of tags by the 1st of September and we don't want you to be disappointed.

Monarch Watch Tagging Kits are only shipped to areas east of the Rocky Mountains. As usual, each tagging kit includes a set of specially manufactured monarch butterfly tags (you specify quantity), a datasheet, tagging instructions, and additional monarch / migration information. Tagging Kits for the 2012 season start at only $15 and include your choice of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, or 500 tags.

This year we are going to make it a little easier for you to submit your tagging data to us electronically (though you can still mail in a hard copy if you like) - details will be included in the kits and available online soon.

Monarch Watch Tagging Kits and other materials (don't forget to pick up a butterfly net!) are available via the Monarch Watch Shop online at http://shop.monarchwatch.org

Monarch Tag Recovery Database Updated
The Monarch Watch Tag Recovery Database (http://monarchwatch.org/recoveries) was updated this spring - more than 16,000 records now, in a searchable format. Check to see if any of your tags were recovered in Mexico this year :-)

Tip: to generate a list of all tags reported to us this year, simply select 2012 from the "Year" dropdown menu in the "Recovery Information" section and hit the "Submit" button.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in the tagging program and to those who have contributed to the tag recovery fund (http://monarchwatch.org/donate). These contributions are needed since we compensate the ejido members in Mexico who search for the tags among the dead butterflies beneath the colonies. Thanks also to the many people who helped acquire the tags in Mexico on our - and your - behalf.

"Chip in for Monarch Watch" Coming in August
Many of you have asked if we are going to continue our now annual "Chip in for Monarch Watch" fundraising campaign, in honor of our director Chip Taylor. We first launched this campaign in the Fall of 2009 and it has been a tremendous success on many levels - so YES we will definitely be running this campaign once again. We love to read all of the comments people leave for us and/or Chip and the funds raised help us keep the program growing.

The page for the 2012 campaign will be launched shortly, but in the meantime you can check out comments and photos submitted in previous campaigns at http://monarchwatch.org/chip/ - some will make you laugh, others might make you cry. No matter how they move you, they are all well worth a look.

Thank you for your interest!

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D
At a recent monarch conference we were treated to a special viewing of the official "teaser" trailer for a monarch film that should be hitting IMAX theaters later this year. The photography looks amazing and seeing the monarchs in Mexico on the big, big screen should be quite a treat, especially in 3D!

From the film's site:
"Flight of the Butterflies in 3D" is a natural history epic. It's a detective story. It took Dr. Fred Urquhart almost 40 years to discover the butterflies' secret hideaway and a year for the award-winning production team to film the butterflies. The technology of IMAX immerses you in the astounding migration experience as the butterflies migrate north and then miraculously find their way back from Canada and Mexico.

For more information and to watch the official teaser trailer visit http://flightofthebutterflies.com

Monarch Rearing Kits
As many of you know, sending out Monarch Rearing Kits is a big part of our program. The fall is our busiest season and we send out thousands of caterpillars each week to addresses all over the U.S. (east of the Rocky Mountains). We have lots of kits already on the shipping calendar, but there is still time to place an order. Available shipping weeks appear on the kit's product page and you make your selection when you place your order.

Our Monarch Rearing Kit contains fourteen to sixteen first to third instar monarch larvae (caterpillars) and rearing instructions. The larvae arrive in small cups and must be transferred to milkweed plants or leaves to feed. Please make sure you have a good supply of fresh milkweed available before your caterpillars arrive. Pupation will occur in about 10 days and adults will emerge 10-14 days after pupation.

Monarch Rearing Kits are available via the Monarch Watch Shop at http://shop.monarchwatch.org

Recently Shared via Facebook
These two articles have been viewed/shared by more than 7,000 people via our Facebook page - check them out and you'll see why :-)

Founder of the Monarch Butterfly Roosting Sites in Mexico Lives a Quiet Life in Austin, Texas
Texas Butterfly Ranch Blog, July 10th: http://bit.ly/N0rGRn

Monarch butterfly caterpillar not a 'bad-guy bug,' Ortho is told
Los Angeles Times, July 10th: http://lat.ms/LIYoqK

If you use Facebook, be sure "like" our page: http://facebook.com/monarchwatch

Our Amazon Earnings
As you may already know, you can help support Monarch Watch with each purchase at Amazon.com and Endless.com (Amazon's specialized Shoe and Handbag store). Monarch Watch earns a small referral fee equal to 4-15% of the item total when you use the links available on our site to visit these online stores.

In the second quarter of 2012 (April-June) 765 items were ordered in support of Monarch Watch, earning our program $1115.58!

A complete list of items will be available for those that are curious to see what folks are buying to support Monarch Watch. (Note: No personal information is tied to purchases; that is, we do not know who purchased the items, only that the items were purchased via the link(s) from our site and therefore in support of our program.)

Thank you to everyone who contributed to these numbers - remember to stop by our site first whenever you shop online!

Complete details are available at http://monarchwatch.org/amazon

Please help us by spreading the word to friends, family, coworkers, and any other Amazon.com or Endless.com shoppers you can think of - thank you very much for your continued support!

About Monarch Watch

Monarch Watch (http://monarchwatch.org) is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research organization based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular migration.

If you have any questions about this email or any of our programs please feel free to contact us anytime.

Thank you for your continued interest and support!

Monarch Watch

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thoughts from the Garden

Looks like we are losing many of the rose bushes.  If you have suggestions on replacement bushes, something evergreen, blooms through the summer please let me know.  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out".
~John Wooden