Brighter Planet is once again sponsoring our grant proposal on their social network. Happy Tonics gained 384 VOTES in earlier rounds and we hope to boost VOTES this round from May 1 – 15. Please log in or sign up to VOTE for Adapt to Climate Change Native Wildflower and Butterfly Habitats in Shell Lake, Wisconsin at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods. I wanted to check on the Wild Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The DNR did a nice job in the fall of 2009 cutting down forbs and cutting popple trees that were becoming invasive. I noticed two azure butterflies (Celastrina argiolus) flitting about with their lavender colored top wings. This is the second butterfly species I have seen this year. The first was a fritillary spotted earlier in April, well before it should have been in Wisconsin. We will monitor butterfly species on July 4 as part of the national butterfly count sponsored by North American Butterfly Association. The public is invited to help us for a small fee of $5.00 to cover materials. Come for an hour or more, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Seeing that the fiddlehead ferns were ready for picking, I gathered some and brought them home to cook. They are delicious sautéed in butter with garlic. While exploring I noticed that common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is taking over a once native birch tree forest. This is an invasive species.
The dead birch are now a haven to a birch fungus (Piptoporus betulinus) that breaks down the wood. This particular polypore is unique in that it lives throughout the year on dead birch trees. It only lives for up to a year but will continue to stay on the tree in its hardened wooden form. It is known as the artist conk and the bottom is felt like and can be carved into art.
One of the side effects of climate change is that invasive species move into an area that once was native habitat. They are hardy and once an invasive species gets a foothold, it is hard to eradicate.
The DNR has been helping us to manage invasive species in the open field butterfly habitat surrounded by woods.
Your VOTE really matters. It may in fact help fund a book to be published on monitoring species in 2010.