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Texas Pollinator Bio Blitz Jumpstart a Huge Success!

Garland Community Garden – October 1, 2016.  A fitting ending for a beautiful day in the garden:  We released two Monarchs that eclosed in Nancy’s laundry basket sanctuary at the event.  One flew away immediately, but the other one lingered for a few minutes for photo ops on Charlie’s hand. 

Loving Garland Green hosted a community opportunity today for locals to learn more about the upcoming Texas Pollinator Bio Blitz that begins October 7 -16.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is sponsoring that event.  You can go online and register free of charge at http://tpwd.texas.gov/education/bioblitz/registration .  The pollinator bioblitz offers a great learning together opportunity for families and friends to learn more about nature and our important relationship to pollinators in particular.

During the pollinator bioblitz, participants of all ages will be encouraged to find pollinators and nectar-producing plants and record information and post photos of their findings.

The Garland Community Garden is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week—no better place in the DFW area to find pollinators and plants they love.  We hope that we will see lots of photographers, young and old down at the garden taking photos from October 7 – 16.

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A young visitor looks at the two Monarch butterflies who eclosed (emerged from their pupas) today during our event. Honestly we don’t know exactly when it happened. One second there was a green pupa (chrysalis) and the next second a Monarch.  Then about two hours later there was another pupa shell and another Monarch.  We allowed about two hours for the second butterfly to dry its wings and pump up its wings before we released them.

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MORE SCENES FROM THE POLLINATOR BIOBLITZ JUMPSTART EVENT AT THE GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN – OCTOBER 1, 2016

 

Children play at the puddling pool—designed and built by Cheryl Andres, one of our talented Loving Garland Green members.  Butterflies assemble around puddles to fulfill their need for salt and nutrients—a behavior called “puddling.” Butterflies visit puddles more for the salt and minerals than the water as they typically receive enough moisture from the nectar they sip from flower but the sugary nectar lacks the sale male butterflies need.  We sprinkle salt on our puddling pool once in a while.

 

Kevin Keeling, one of Loving Garland Green’s board members, digs up some peanut plants at the garden.  Peanuts are not recommended for our heavy clay soil; however, if you are determined to have peanuts, you can—provided that you grow them in pots with garden soil, or if you amend the clay soil with expanded shale and add a little sandy loam.  

 

The garden is often an unexpected meeting place for people with similar life profiles: Jennifer and Juliana met today for the first time and learn that both of their sons are 17 and were taking SAT tests today.

 

 

The garden is a great place for family. It was particularly heartening to see scenes like the one above with three generations enjoying the garden and its creatures.  Gardens are for all ages.

 

Nancy, Loving Garland Green member, and Dodie, a Garland resident, chat about gardens. 

 

 

The children as usual were as wonderful as the flowers in the garden.  Like all children, all ages, they come to the garden and the beauty and mystery of all the life around them seems to overflow their little hearts with boundless joy and awe.  They are super-aware—noting all kinds of garden activities that might escape the eyes of an adult.  For example, the little girl in the pink today noticed a bunch of ants de-wing a grasshopper.  She was very accepting of it all and seemingly accepted it as some sort of foregone conclusion in the life of a grasshopper.  Young children today are so very smart and intuitive.

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Remember to be nice to pollinators.  After all, they are responsible for one out of every three bites of food you eat.

 

Garland Community Garden – October 1, 2016 – Side view of Monarch on Charlie’s hand.

Saturday, October 1, 2016