Vol. 16 No. 3
"A GOOD IDEA will keep you awake during the morning, but A GREAT IDEA will keep you awake at night." - Marilyn vos Savant, American writer
In this issue...
2008 Summer at the Nature Area
We experienced an exciting summer and believe our visitors left with wonderful memories.
On a Thursday evening in June, Karen Skrocki invited her wildlife photography class to "shoot" pictures. Karen had discovered a hawk's nest in a Cottonwood tree some time earlier and this evening her patience was rewarded. A second young baby hawk was visible in the nest.
Al Skrocki made an unfortunate discovery. He found a dead Painted Turtle near the shoreline and carried it back to the welcome table. It was most likely shot at close range. The bullet hole was large and had gone through the whole body. We placed it on the ground near a sand pile and in a very short time the ants had it totally cleaned. (The 9" shell will be on display at the annual meeting.)
On a hot and humid morning in July, students from Building Blocks Learning Center arrived for their scheduled field trip with a total of 32 people, including children ages 4-6 and their adult chaperones. The younger ones worked on a scavenger hunt and the older children learned about trees, turtles, toads and dragonflies. All were amazed at the many insects flying over Quarry Pond. They ate their lunch under the shade of a Cottonwood tree. I am convinced that many kids took a long nap afterward.
Remember the wagon, donated by Art Cortis? Well, Owen (2) and his brother Aidan (3) were the first riders in our "Art Van." Mom Sue was more than happy to pull them along the Seaplane Road.
The weather on August 8th was beautiful when the students from the Delray Summer Camp arrived by chartered school bus. Sponsored by the G.I. Rotary Club, this visit had something new. Karen Skrocki guided 10 students around the area and educated them about nature photography. Each received a disposable camera before they went hiking. The other group walked to the Seaplane Base, where local artist and instructor, Mark Jackson, with artist Alice Smallwood, gave each child a sketch pad and a pencil. The American Lotus was in bloom and a huge Snapping Turtle was seen crawling on the bottom of the Bay. After some refreshments, the group returned to the parking lot and boarded the bus for the ride home.
We appreciate the help from Karen, Mark and Alice. We also would like to thank the volunteers, high school student Ursula O'Connor, G.I. graduate Ross Hovious and GINLC board members Peter Rock, Armando Sardanopoli, Ken Tilp and Ingo Hasserodt.
On the last Saturday in August, Julie Craves, from the Rouge River Bird Observatory, visited briefly with her husband Darrin O'Brien. Julie was looking for Monarch butterflies to tag. Check this link for more information on the tagging program: http://www.monarchwatch.org/tagmig/tag.htm
She later reported, that on their quick walk around the meadow, they found 14 species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). All were common and expected species, except for the Carolina Saddlebags. This is a more southern species, which was first recorded for Wayne County in 2004.
We received permission to host a water station at the parking lot for the NAS Duathlon runners, held on September 13th. It was raining "cats and dogs", but it was so much fun, especially since two Girl Scouts and one mom, Maribeth Esordi, joined GINLC board members Armando Sardanopoli, Tom Harvan and myself to help with the event. We believe our cheers made the last 2 miles of the run easier for the participants.
I wish, I could tell you more about the Nature Area. GINLC's Stewardship agreement with the EPA since 1995 has come to an end. It certainly was a pleasure hosting and talking to many visitors. We believe this jewel of a place has made a lasting impression on many, especially the children.
You will hear from us again. Until later!