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Tag Archive | "butterfly counts"

Wildflower and butterfly field trips


Ranger Steve

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Spring flowers are on the way. Already Skunk Cabbage flower spathes with spadix are up on the flood plains. Other flowers will brighten the landscape soon. Daffodil leaves have broken ground but are still less than two inches tall. Even iris leaves have broken ground on the floodplain. Exciting events are growing.

Among the first flowers are hepaticas, speckled alders, and hazelnuts with male staminate and pistillate flowers.  Many blooms will come early including bloodroot, spring beauties, and trout lilies. Soon to follow are baneberry, nodding trillium, large-flowered trillium, starry Solomon’s-seal, jack-in-the-pulpit, wild geranium, wood betony, mayapple and enchanter’s nightshade.  

The trout lily is a early spring flower. 

Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary will be a carpet with many flowers before trees fully leaf out. It requires a lot of energy to produce flowers and fruits. Adequate sunlight is essential. Many plants have the adaptation to bloom before canopy leaves block too much sunlight energy from reaching the understory. By the time tree leaves fully expand, many plants have completed their reproductive blooming cycle. 

Trout lilies have not only completed flowering in spring but their leaves wither by the end of May. Their flowers and leaves are only present during a few weeks in spring. The plant is dormant the rest of the year. 

Plan for spring and summer events and mark your calendar to participate. 

On May 15 at 2 p.m. the Michigan Botanical Club White Pine Chapter will host a wildflower walk at Ody Brook. Parking will be at V&V nursery 1.25 mile south of traffic light in Cedar Springs or 1.75 miles north of traffic light at M-57 on Northland Drive. Park close to the road at V&V nursery. Come early to shop for plants at the nursery. Ranger Steve will meet you there.

We will walk across the highway to Ody Brook’s entrance south of the bridge. Mark your calendar for wildflower discoveries to learn their ecological adaptations. Botanical club membership information will be available for those interested. Other botanical outings are planned during the warm season. Donations to support Ody Brook’s mission of “biodiversity enhancement” are not required but are welcome. 

Consider participating in mid-summer butterfly counts hosted by the West Michigan Butterfly Association and the North American Butterfly Association. Summer flowers will be peaking. Details are available on the WMBA web site: http://www.graud.org/wmba.html

Butterfly counts begin at 9 a.m. and end by about 5 p.m. but participants can come for shorter time periods if desired.

5 July – Rogue River State Game Area 

7 July – Allegan State Game Area 

10 July – Greater Muskegon 

12 July – Newaygo in the Manistee National Forest

Butterfly counts are great opportunity to become familiar with summer butterflies and their habitats with help from butterfly association members. Mark calendars and plan to participate. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Enjoyable butterfly counts


By Ranger Steve Mueller

Four West Michigan Butterfly Association (WMBA) count summaries are posted in Table 1. Community members participated with WMBA members. Counts are part of a North American Butterfly Association (NABA) continent wide program. Michigan has 17 plus or minus counts annually. For various reasons not all counts occur each year. As Michigan’s editor, I examine count results and the data are published by NABA annually. Not all data have been received for 2020. We will see how Covid-19 affects this year’s adventures. Hopefully outdoor counts continued with adequate social distancing and masks. 

Personally my immune system is compromised with uncurable terminal multiple myeloma cancer. I thank people for wearing masks to protect others, themselves and me. Mostly, I continue to stay at home except for weekly chemo and rare outings.

Each butterfly count is organized differently. We travel in one group to help each other with searching and identification. Some groups split and survey small sections of their count area individually to provide greater site coverage. Locally we like the single group. It helps new people learn species and habitat associations. 

Table 1 shows that both species and individual numbers vary among count circles. Reasons for variance include dates for counts and habitat suitability. As the season progresses, different species end flight periods and new ones begin. Highly important is habitat size and plant composition. We try to visit a good representation of habitats in each count circle. Count circles have a 7.5-mile radius from a selected center point that remains constant from year to year. Rogue River and Muskegon counts have been surveyed for more than 30 years. 

Fifty-six species were observed on our combined four counts. That is about 1/3 of all Michigan species. At the bottom of Table 1, notice the species and numbers for each count. Included are the immature butterfly life cycle stages found as egg, larva, or chrysalis. 

To learn butterflies and associate them with habitat, consider joining the WMBA and participating in the 2021 local counts. Club members are friendly and helpful. If interested in other Michigan or national counts contact me for information. You can contact me now and I will reach out to you next summer. Contact me if you are interested in acquiring the book Michigan Butterflies and Skippers by Mo Nielsen. I have some of the last remaining copies.

Google the “West Michigan Butterfly Association” web site or contact me for club or butterfly information. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.


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Butterfly counts


 

By Ranger Steve Mueller

 

Mark your calendars. Butterfly count participants will receive Mo Nielsen’s book Michigan Butterflies and Skippers as a bonus. Discover butterflies in a variety of local habitats with people knowledgeable in butterfly identification. It is a great way to begin learning some of the 170 species known to Michigan. Join with the West Michigan Butterfly Association on a count for fun and learning.

Counts are sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and cost $3 for each participant. The money is used by NABA to create a publication documenting butterfly abundance, distribution, and trends throughout North America. Scientists make use of citizen science data. About 17 counts are held in Michigan annually. Make it a family event. Contact Ranger Steve for more information about Michigan counts. He is the regional editor for all Michigan counts and can help connect with any Michigan count leader. Your help spotting butterflies is desired. Knowledge of butterflies is not required.

We carpool to various sites in the 15-mile diameter designated count circles. Have a good time discovering in the outdoors, learn species identification, habitat associations, behavior, and nature niche needs. Participate for part of the day or stay all day. 

Bring a bag lunch, plenty to drink, snacks, and dress with lightweight long sleeves and pants to protect from any biting insects or raspberry thorns. Some exploration is off trail when searching for butterflies. 

Local count dates and meeting locations:

June 30, 2018 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.

Allegan Butterfly Count – Allegan Co. 

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Meet at the Fennville Allegan State Game Area headquarters, 6013 118th Ave, Fennville. odybrook@chartermi.net

 

July 5, 2018 (Wed) 9:00 a.m.

Newaygo County Butterfly Count – Newaygo Co. 

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Meeting at the grocery parking lot at the corner of M82 & M 37 in Newaygo. odybrook@chartermi.net

 

July 7, 2018 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.

Rogue River Butterfly Count – Kent Co.

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

(Kent, Newaygo, Montcalm Counties)

Meet at Howard Christensen Nature Center Welcome Center 16160 Red Pine Dr. Kent City. odybrook@chartermi.net

 

July 14, 2018 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.

Greater Muskegon Butterfly Ct – Muskegon Co.

Leader: Dennis Dunlap 

Meet on Mill Iron Road from M-46 (Apple Ave.) east of Muskegon at second set of power lines that cross the road north of MacArthur Road. dunlapmd@charter.net

Rain day alternates will be the next day. Sign up with Ranger Steve so unexpected changes can be shared.  

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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Butterfly Counts


 

Please join some or all of the West Michigan Butterfly Association counts.

Counts are sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and cost $3 for each participant. The money is sent to NABA to create a publication available to any one interested. Scientists make good use of citizen science data. Between 17 and 22 different counts are held in Michigan annually. As Michigan’s count editor, I review and write the annual Michigan summary report the proceeds the count reports.

To locate different species and count numbers we carpool to various sites during the day.

The purpose is to have a good time outdoors as well as to learn to identify species, learn habitat associations, behavior, and nature niche needs. Some families come for part of the day while others stay the full day. Also consider joining our West Michigan butterflies Association – membership $5/year.

Bring a bag lunch, plenty to drink, snacks, and dress with lightweight long sleeves and pants to protect from any biting insects or raspberry thorns. We explore off trails when searching for butterflies.

Dates and meeting locations:

July 5, 2015 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.

Allegan Butterfly Count – Allegan Co.

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Meet at the Fennville Allegan State Game Area headquarters, 6013 118th Ave, Fennville. odybrook@chartermi.net

July 7, 2015 (Tues) 9:00 a.m.

Newaygo County Butterfly Count – Newaygo Co.

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Meeting at Plum’s Grocery parking lot at the corner of M82 & M 37 in Newaygo. odybrook@chartermi.net

July 11, 2015 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.

Grand River Park Butterfly Count – Ottawa County Parks

Leader: Dennis Dunlap

Meet at Grand River Park, 9473 28th Ave., Jenison (north of Filmore St.)

dunlapmd@charter.net

July 12, 2015 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.

Rogue River Butterfly Count – Kent Co.

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

(Kent, Newaygo, Montcalm Counties)

Meet at Howard Christensen Nature Center Welcome Center 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City odybrook@chartermi.net

July 19, 2015 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.

Greater Muskegon Butterfly Ct – Muskegon Co.

Leader: Dennis Dunlap

Meet on Mill Iron Road from M-46 (Apple Ave.) east of Muskegon at second set of power lines that cross the road north of MacArthur Road. dunlapmd@charter.net

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433. 616-696-1753.

 

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Butterfly Counts


OUT-Monarch-butterflyBy Ranger Steve Mueller

Butterfly interest is high but most people are unaware nearly 170 species are known from Michigan. Between 20 and 45 species are sighted on local butterfly counts. The number varies with weather conditions and annual population variation. Please join the West Michigan Butterfly Association counts.

Counts are sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and cost $3 for each participant. The money is sent to NABA to create a publication that is made available to scientists. It is a citizen science initiative. Twenty-two different counts were held in Michigan last year. The data is sent to NABA and then referred to me as Michigan’s count editor for review. After review the compiled data is published. I write an annual Michigan summary for the report.

In 2012 we saw 33 species on the Rogue River Count, 37 on the Allegan Count, 21 on the Muskegon count, and 31 on the Newaygo count. Locally the Rogue River Count will meet at the Howard Christensen Nature at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, and carpool from there. Participants may stay part of the day all day. To look for different species and to count numbers we visit various sites.

The purpose is to have a good time outdoors as well as to learn how to identify species, learn their habitats, behavior, and nature niche needs. Some families come for part of the day to get an initial exposure to butterflies. Others come for a full day.

Bring a bag lunch if you come the whole day, plenty to drink, snacks, and dress with lightweight long sleeves and pants to protect from any biting insects or raspberry thorns. We explore off trails when searching for butterflies.

Dates and meeting locations:

June 21, 2013 (Fri) 9:00 a.m. Allegan Butterfly Count – Allegan Co. 

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller). Meeting location for Allegan Count to Fennville Unit Allegan State Game Area, 6013 118th Ave, Fennville

odybrook@chartermi.net.

June 23, 2013 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. Rogue River Butterfly Count  – Kent Co. 

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

(Kent, Newaygo, Montcalm Counties) Meet at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16160 Red Pine Dr. Kent City.

odybrook@chartermi.net.

July 6, 2013 (Sat) 9:00 a.m. Greater Muskegon Butterfly Ct – Muskegon Co. 

Leaders: Dennis Dunlap

Meeting location for Muskegon Count to Mill Iron Road north of Apple Avenue (M-46) at the second set of overhead power lines crossing the road.

dunlapmd@juno.com

July 27, 2013 (Sat) 9:00 a.m. Newaygo County Butterfly Count – Newaygo Co. 

Leader: Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Meeting location: Plum’s Grocery parking lot at corner of M82 & M 37.

odybrook@chartermi.net.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the odybrook@chartermi.net Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433.

 

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