Tag Archives: Asclepias syria

AWESOME VOLUNTEERS MONITORING THE PIPING PLOVER CHICKS AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH!

Day six, and all four Good Harbor Beach Piping Plovers are thriving! Their survival is in large part due to the efforts of Ken Whittaker, Dave Rimmer, and a growing assemblage of wonderful volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to take a shift babysitting the PiPl, please email Ken Whittaker at kwhittaker@gloucester-ma-gov. Ken is meeting groups on the beach to explain the protocol. The shifts are brief and it’s great fun to be at GHB as an ambassador for the Plovers while monitoring and answering questions.

Catherine Ryan and her sons Charles and George King have the early morning shifts, from 6am to 7:30, and they are splitting it three ways, each taking a half hour.¬†Piping Plover watchers are invited to take notes–here are one of the volunteers, Hazel’s, excellent notes:

“I was there from about 11.30 to 1 pm today June 26..

During that time I only saw one adult at a time, probably about once every 20 minutes, not doing much – preening, sitting on the sand, resting under a bush, moving around relatively slowly. I also saw one baby at a time moving about – except for the last 20 minutes when I saw 2, possibly 3, moving around at the same time (I had lent my binoculars to some interested bystanders so not sure of the number).

I spoke to 2 groups of young people playing with a ball and a frisbee Рthey were unaware of the plover nest and very agreeable to moving further away. One couple were seated very close to the rope, and also unaware of the plovers.  They said they would watch out for babies coming outside the enclosure, and later had been watching one of the babies moving around inside.

Two other groups were close to the enclosure and already aware. The second group arrived when two or three babies were moving around and excited to see them through binoculars.

I will be back tomorrow from 11 to 1 pm.

Hazel”

Loved reading the King brother’s notes. Great job Charles and George!!

Five Day-Old Piping Plover Chick Foraging for Insects

While walking through the dunes on boardwalk 3 at Good Harbor on the way to volunteer, or simply to visit the PiPl, notice the Common Milkweed that is in full glorious bloom. You may catch a whiff of its wonderful honey-hay scent. And quite possibly, a Monarch sighting, or two!

Male Monarch Nectaring from Common Mikweed, Good Harbor Beach Dune

Hooray for Pathways for Children’s Brand Spanking New Butterfly Garden!

Pathways for Children we ¬©Kim Smith 2014HOLY CANNOLI and WOW–look how fantastically¬†the Pathway’s Staff is¬†taking care of their brand new one-month old¬†butterfly garden–every plant looks well-loved!!!

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden BEFORE ©Kim Smith 2014 copySpring 2014 Before Photo

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden  After ©Kim Smith 2014.

Same View After Photo ~  July 18, 2014

Elizabeth's Toad ©Kim Smith

Toads Welcome!

My sincerest thanks to Caroline Haines for her vision to create a butterfly garden for the children at Pathways. 

Thank you to the many donors who have made the butterfly gardens at Pathways possible. 

Thank you to the Manchester Garden Club for their tremendous assisitance in planting the garden.

Thank you to the volunteers from Liberty Mutual for tearing out the old plantings.

And special thanks to Bernie Romanowski, Pathways for Children facilities director,¬†for all his hard work and his extraordinary¬†care and attention to¬†detail, from the project’s inception through its continued maintenance. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Zinnia ¬©Kim Smith 2014. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Sunflower ¬©Kim Smith 2014.Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Milkweed ¬©Kim Smith 2014.Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) ~ Notice the pretty moth nectaring from the milkweed in the upper right. The gardens are alive with pollinators of every species imaginable, including butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, songbirds, moths, and sundry¬†insects!Bernie Romanowski ¬©Kim Smith 2014 copy

 Bernie Romanowski

Manchester Garden Club at Pathways ©Kim Smith 2014Manchester Garden Club

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Antennae for Design ~

The architectural details of the trellis and picnic table were designed to be a coordinated focal point in the garden¬†and¬†planned¬†to be stained¬†a classic¬†seaside blue.¬†Why would we want to paint or stain the trellis and not simply¬†allow it to gain a weathered patina? From an aesthetic¬†point of view, the wood used for both the picnic table and trellis are two different types and will age¬†very differently from each other. If this were a very large garden, it wouldn’t matter so much, but in a cozy garden room¬†such as this, the difference will become quite noticeable and unappealing over time. Additionally, the blue will offset the flowers and foliage handsomely and is a cheery choice with children in mind.

From a very practical standpoint, untreated wood will quickly degrade in our salty sea air and neither piece will last more than ten years without protection. An opaque stain is the best solution because as the trellis and picnic table age, the obvious differences in wood will be disguised. An opaque stain also requires the least amount of effort to maintain over time.

Rotting untreated trellis ©Kim Smith 2014The above is a photo of untreated trellis, allowed to weather, and was installed approximately ten years ago.

_DSF8394 Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden school bus ©Kim Smith 2014.