Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 prescribed burn excites children and adults

The prescribed ecological burn on April 10, 2017 was an exciting event for children and adults. Trained staff and volunteer from City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation explained the purpose of the burn and described safety eqiptment and procedures. Since the wind was coming from the south, they started the burn at the northern edge. Here's what it looked like when the flames were closer to the viewers.

A few moments after this picture, we started to feel raindrops! So this is the first burn on record where it rained at the end of the burn. Kids and parents went home, so we'll plant seeds sometime later this week.

Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 Prescribed Burn -- re-scheduled for Monday April 10

Our annual prescribed burn has been postponed until Monday, April 10, 2017.

To achieve the desired results, plant materials must be dry and humidity low. Wind speed and direction are important for smoke control. Based on the updated weather forecast, prospects for Monday look good.

As originally planned, we will collect seeds starting at 4:00 PM. About 4:30, trained staff from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) will explain their equipment and safety precautions. Then everyone will watch from a safe distance.This year's burn will be held at the north-west quadrant of the park, north of the ice rink, near the east end of Essex Street.

This is a family-oriented event and we emphasize safety. Children of all ages enjoy watching with their parents. Everything is explained in simple language. Kids can see protective clothing and special tools, including the world's largest squirt guns (water-carrying backpacks with spray nozzles, used to control the fire.)

In case of adverse weather, we will re-schedule on a day-by-day basis.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lupines in Bloom

An early morning walk revealed beautiful lupines in bloom. The sandy area at the north end of Wet Meadow 2.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tickle bees at Buhr - April 2016

Tickle bees are emerging at Buhr Park thgis weekend. Look in sandy places for holes (about pencil-diameter) and mounds of soil. The stingless male bees may be buzzing around about 8 -12 inches above the ground.
  These are ground-nesting bees of genus Andrena or genus Colletes. The eggs hatch in early Spring, and the new adults dig their way to the surface. The males fly around looking for partners. They eat nectar from violets and other plants that bloom very early. They are a sure sign that Spring is here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Burn was successful on Tuesday, April 5

Due to weather conditions, the was re-scheduled to Tuesday, April 5.The weather was sunny and cool. A breeze helped the smoke lift and disperse.

Many children, parents and neighbors helped with seed collection and dispersal. All watched the burn from a safe distance.

As usual, we spent time explaining why the wet meadows are important and why controlled burning helps the native plants.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wet Meadow Burn 2016 Edition: April 4, 4:30 PM

The annual burn at the Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow(s) will be on Monday April 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM. Come earlier and help out and watch as burns progress through other parts of the park.

The burn is weather-dependent, so check back in here or on Facebook for updates.

Buhr Park
2751 Packard Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Tickle bees" at Buhr


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.