Monarchs, Montshire, Nature Programs, Hummingbirds, Pickerel
 
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["Sullivan County"]
 
August          Sweat it Out       Issue 47
 
 
They're Baaaack!
 
Monarchs have been sighted nectaring on clover in hayfields, laying eggs on young milkweed, and flying by in the sky. It may seem like they are late this year, but that is just because last year they were early and so abundant that everyone took notice. The last weeks of July are their usual time to breed in New England. This may be my favorite time of year.
 
Last week, Alison Marchione, Upper Valley Land Trust's program director, joined me and a small group of curious people at Up on the Hill Conservation Area to monitor the breeding population of monarchs. Butterflies like to fly during the hottest time of day and their nectar sources are usually found in sunny locations. So we were sweating it out as we made our way from milkweed to milkweed in search of eggs and caterpillars. 
 
We kept track of the number of milkweed plants we checked and tallied up the total number of eggs, caterpillars, and adult monarchs we observed. The data gets entered into an online database for Mission Monarch. This information allows researchers to find out the average number of young monarchs in a specific area. They can use this average of a sample area to estimate the number in a larger area. If the same area is monitored year after year, a graph can be made that represents breeding monarch population changes over time. 
 
Learn more about what we found by checking out UVLT's blog post. There is even a video of Dawn explaining how to do Mission Monarch on your own. 
 
Anyone can contribute to monarch research by reporting observations to one of these online databases: Mission Monarch, Journey North, eButterfly. Taking a picture to upload is helpful to scientists too!
 
Local Resources for Place-based Education
 
More Resources for Outdoor Learning
 
Outdoor Learning Opportunities for Healthy Students: A Resource from Inside Outside 
In direct response to the pandemic, we believe that schools should consider outdoor learning as part of their plans for re-opening in the fall or in the plans for hybrid/ distance learning.
 
NAAEE Guidelines for Reopening Schools - Outdoor education should be available to all. This guide touches on the following areas: esxtending and expanding learning spaces into the community, supporting teaching and learning, using the school grounds for learning, creating healthier learning environments, virtual teaching and learning, and supporting at-home learning. 
 
Montshire at Home Discover the joy of science at home! Developed, hosted, and curated by the Montshire’s Education team, this online learning series consists of videos and resources that allow young learners to delve into a different topic using a variety of learning methods.
 
Naturalist Backpacks - Remote learning doesn't mean you have to stay inside on a screen all day! Place-based Educators and PD providers in the Upper Valley are working on providing Naturalist Backpacks for students of partner schools and teachers. If you are interested in learning more about this potential partnership, contact Dawn.
 
Programs
 
Summer Programs by Appt.
 
Although we don't have any official events planned, we are available to guide programs for families and small groups at our Eco Ag Center this summer.

Topics could include pollinators, gardening, salamanders, nature art, journaling, plant identification, cemetery scavenger hunt, guided hikes and monarch studies in July and August. You may even suggest your own topic!

All programs are free of charge and by appointment only. Contact Dawn to schedule a program.
 
Schedule a Program
 
Citizen Science
 
Audubon's Hummingbirds at Home
 
National Audubon needs citizen scientists to report observations of feeding hummingbirds during spring hummingbird migration, summer, and fall migration. A free mobile app makes it easy to report sightings and learn more about these remarkable birds in the United States.
 
Your participation will help scientists understand how hummingbirds are impacted by climate change, flowering patterns, and feeding by people.
 
Start Observing
 
Where will the Sullivan County Educators be this Month?
 
Parks For Every Classroom Virtual Gathering - Dawn will be attending this PD as she does every year. This year's focus is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Placed-based Learning.
 
Pubic Cidery Prepration - Cathy and the team will be prepping for the opening of the Public Cidery in September. Stay tuned for more information. If you would like to become a Cidery volunteer, let us know. 
 
Our educators will be out in the field maintaining and creating new trails, improving the forest classroom and schoolyards, gardening, and continuing communications with those we serve! We are also supporting legistation to provide funds and resources to schools for reopening using outdoor learning spaces. We are offering nature related programs by appointment. Talk to Dawn about scheduling a program for your family and friends or organization today.
 
Naturalist Notes
 
My, What Sharp Teeth You Have...
 
Check out this chain pickerel my nephew caught this summer! Pickerel are in the pike family, which consist of torpedo shaped fish with large mouths filled with razor sharp teeth (though you can't see it in them in this picture). You might notice that there are pliers on the seat that were used to get the hook out, so we could release this fish afterwards.
 
They are found in shallow areas with lots of vegetation where they hide out and wait to ambush their prey. Right in the Pickerel Weed - probably named after these fish being found there. They can eat fish almost the same size as they are! They also eat crayfish, frogs, and mice if they get the chance.
 
Learn more about fish in NH through CT River Conservancy's livestreams. This one is especially for kids and airs on August 8th: Fish Tales: Migration - One of the RIver's Oldest Stories. 
 
Watch it!
 
 
Dawn Dextraze
Education and Outreach Specialist
Sullivan County Natural Resources and Conservation District
95 County Farm Rd.
Unity, NH 03743
603.504.1004
ddextraze@sullivancountynh.gov
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