Sunday, April 26, 2015
You may have seen this video about "tickle bees" at an elementary school in Portland, OR.
These are stngless, solitary native bees that nest in bare soil (in this case a school playground. ) For several years the Oregon children have been playing with them in early Spring, and call them "tickle bees". (Scientist call them Adrena sp.)
We are lucky to have some of these amazing insects in the Buhr Park Childrens Wet Meadows.They especially like the bare soil in the upper basin of Wet Meadow II.(This is behind the swimming pool, closest to the ice rink.)
Have you seen their little cones and dirt piles? This time of year, you may also see males cruising about 12 - 14 inches above the ground. (There's a great shot of this in the Oregon video.) Sunny days are best to see the bees in flight.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The most interesting feature of wet meadow 2 is the sand zone at the north end. When excavating we were surprised to discover such a sandy area. It has turned out to be a wonderful habitat for cacti, bluestem, and killer wasps.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
He saw cabbage white, long dash, Peck's skipper, Ringlet, red admiral, silver-spotted skipper, and banded hairstreak butterflies. The banded hairstreaks were visiting the butterfly weed.
Monday, March 17, 2014
City of Ann Arbor natural area program staff conduct the annual prescribed burn of the wet meadows.
This year we burned Wet Meadow 2, Wet Meadow 3, the parking lot swale, and several other native plantings. We are hoping to burn Wet Meadow 1 and Wet Meadow 1 extension later in the spring to help control crown vetch.
Burns help manage native landscapes by clearing out old growth, fighting back non-native plants that are not fire-adapted, and preparing the ground for spring growth.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
One parent says, "It's quite a sight - my daughter has gone to prescribed burns from age 2 and loves them. I think it's quite safe for kids of any age if they're with a parent."
Although burning may seem destructive, fire actually serves to stimulate vigorous new growth of native plants, controls the invasion of undesirable plants, warms the soil and releases nutrients. Fire allows diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive in natural areas.
After the fire is safely out, children will scatter seeds that were collected last Fall, and dance or sing to encourage new growth. In a few weeks the meadows will be springing back to life, better than ever.
If the weather permits, consider bringing a picnic supper. Come and go when you like. The event is free and open to the public. Buhr Park is in east Ann Arbor, at 2751 Packard (on the north side of the street) between Eisenhower and Platt. Children must be accompanied by a parent.