Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breather after Blueberry Weekend

Hey all! Blueberry Festival weekend has come and gone, and it was a fun time! It did rain up at the Point for most of the afternoon on Friday, causing some programs to be cancelled, but the rain held off for Saturday. The rockhounds found at least one agate, and the folks who came on the Blueberry Stroll definitely found blueberries! It seems to be a good year for them.

Other berries we came across were bunchberry and huckleberry. Both are edible, but bunchberries are apparently pretty bland and kind of mealy. At least, that is what it said in the wild berry book I looked them up in. Huckleberries, however, are delicious.

Bunchberry is in the dogwood family and has an unusual attribute. Its pollen is contained in springy filaments that snap upward in order to release the pollen (yes, the plant moves). The unusual part is that it takes less than half a millisecond for the motion to happen. This is one of the fastest plant motions so far discovered. You would need a camera that can shoot 10,000 frames per second in order to capture it. The pollen shooting off the filament experiences 800 times the force the space shuttle does during liftoff. Nature is so cool, huh?!

~ Sarah

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blueberry Festival Weekend

This weekend is the Blueberry Festival in Paradise. We are hosting a Blueberry Stroll on Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at 3pm, along with our regular programs. We will look for wild blueberries in the woods around the Point and hopefully see some of the wildlife that also eat the berries. Rain will cancel this event, so keep an eye on the weather. There is a chance of rain Friday, but it looks to be nicer on Saturday.

We hope to see you then!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Apple Sphinx Moth

This is a picture of a Northern Apple Sphinx moth. We found one of these during a Night Hike program this week. It's a really beautiful moth that inhabits bogs and boreal forest. The larvae feed on the leaves of apple, blueberry, spruce, tamarack, meadowsweet, and Sweet Gale. The adults drink nectar from a variety of flowering plants.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Butterfly Ramble a Success

Our first Butterfly Ramble event on Friday, August 7th, was a definite success. Although turnout was small, the participants had a great time. They saw several interesting species, including a hummingbird moth. They were also treated to the sight of an immature bald eagle fishing in the waters of Whitefish Bay. The young eagle caught a fish, but an adult eagle came and stole it! The participants were very excited to witness this natural drama. A very special thanks to Jack Reinoehl for leading the program.

Our next special event is for Blueberry Festival the weekend of August 21st. Check back for more details soon!

~ Sarah

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Butterfly Ramble

Hi everyone! Don't forget our special event this week--the Butterfly Ramble! Learn to identify the butterflies in the area with Jack Reinoehl. Meet at the Owl's Roost at 1pm this Friday, the 7th. We will be doing some walking, so be prepared. Don't forget bug and sun protection!

We hope to see you there.

~ Sarah