A walk to Biocore Prairie – what a summer treat. Bring a friend and enjoy all those fabulous critters darting and flying, probing and feasting on the lush buffet spread out for them at the Biocore Prairie. It takes some patience to watch a butterfly, or a dragonfly or the swallows and goldfinches, or the bees and the beetles. But you will be rewarded. Sometimes they rest on a flower or stem. And the flowers are glorious, blazing in many shades of purple, magenta, yellow and white. All photos Gisela Kutzbach
On a very hot day, June 15, four Biocore Bluebird trail enthusiasts moved several bluebird boxes to new locations along the trail. – leader Paul Noeldner, weekly box monitor Patricia Becker, and Gisela Kutzbach and Will Waller. In the past, all boxes located within the Eagle Heights gardens had been consistently occupied by House sparrows. The Bluebird Restoration of Wisconsin (BRAW) society does not encourage providing breeding opportunities for them. So these boxes were removed and are now installed in an area where they might attract Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Chickadees and House Wrens.
The revised Bluebird trail map shows how the boxes are concentrated along the northern edge of the Biocore Prairie. We are hoping that Bluebirds and their allies will successfully occupy this new housing this summer. Boxes 10 and 11 are paired, located only a few yards apart, so as to to reduce competition by increasing housing density.
Paul Noeldner used a manual fence post driver to install the metal poles and then fastened the wooden boxes to the poles, facing them northeast so the morning sun would warm the inhabitants of these solid cedar boxes. On this sultry summer afternoon, this was truly a labor of love for the birds. The rest of us helped transport the equipment. Find out what’s happening on the Bluebird Page. Glenda Denniston reported that, within a day of the relocation project, she spotted a Common yellowthroat peeking out of Box 13! That’s a first.
After they first two weeks of work in the Preserve under supervision by Adam Gundlach, the Prairie Interns had lots of great things to share, Seth McGee of the Friends reports. During their 5-day work week, they rotate among five different conservation areas. Several years ago, the Friends helped organize an educational component to the intern work experience, mostly during lunch hours, intended to round out their learning experience doing field work. This year, all participating conservation groups provide educational experiences during work days. The students mentioned these highlights:
When the Friends volunteers planted hundreds of small wild flower seedlings in an area cleared from buckthorn along Frautschi path 10 days ago, they did so with hope for some “heavenly” help. And favorable circumstances came in abundance. Almost every day since, the seedling could take roots with rain and sunshine or sunshine and rain. So far, most plants have survived the transfer to the challenging conditions of the “wild.” Enjoy the photos and watch for the wild flowers to grow. Next year they will dazzle us with their beauty. The two photos of mature spring plants along the path show what our seedlings and bare root plants might look like in two years. That’s when these were planted along Frautschi path. Photos Gisela Kutzbach.
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors