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Prairie Enthusiasts trips this weekend


June 15, 2017

Butterflies and Wildflowers of Pleasant Valley

The Prairie Enthusiasts invite you to join them on Saturday, June 17 for Butterflies and Wildflowers of Pleasant Valley at Pleasant Valley Conservancy in Black Earth from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Pleasant Valley Conservancy is a beautiful state natural area situated in the Driftless Area with steep goat prairies, oak savanna, and a large, high quality marsh. It is a joint preserve of the Savanna Oak Foundation and The Prairie Enthusiasts. This time of year, the group hopes to see Baltimore checkerspots, wetland skippers, swallowtails, silvery checkerspot, fritillaries, and blues. All these butterflies will have many wonderful native plants to nectar on this time of year.

Long pants, a hat, water, hiking shoes, and close-focusing binoculars are recommended. If you would like, bring along a bag lunch for after the field trip; beverages and dessert will be provided.

The conservancy is located at 4609 Pleasant Valley Rd, Black Earth, WI. Drive past the buildings on the right to the state natural area sign; please park off the road near the sign.

This trip is co-sponsored by TPE, the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association, and Madison Audubon Society.

The trip is led by: Douglas, Tom (608-238-5050), and Kathie.

Bumblebee Identification

Come to Schurch Thomson Prairie to learn about bumblebee life histories and how to identify native bumblebee species on Sunday, June 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. for a bumblebee identification workshop in Iowa County sponsored by The Prairie Enthusiasts.

Wisconsin is home to 400 species of bees, 20 species of which are bumblebees. Trip leaders have identified eight species of bumblebees at this site so far.

The group also expects to see other native bees, non-native honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators

Participants will be catching bumblebees with insect nets (bring one if you have one) and using a handout to look at the markings used to identify to species.

Those with bee allergies be aware: there is a slight chance of being stung. Bring close focusing binoculars if you have them.

Learn about pollen baskets, buzz pollination, and social life cycles. The group will cover tips for photography and uploading photos and info to Bumble Bee Watch.

The bees will not fly in even a light drizzle, so call ahead to confirm.

Leaders: Christy (608-213-5688) and Susan (608-886-7504).

Directions: From the intersection of US Hwy 18-151 and County F (south of Blue Mounds in western Dane County), take F approximately 5 miles south, then turn right onto Reilly Road. Proceed to parking lot and kiosks at the end of the road (past the barn). (Note: A half mile south of F from 18-151, pay close attention to the road signs, for F turns to the right and the straight-ahead road becomes County Z. Stay on F.) Enter "Reilly Rd, Barneveld, WI" in map app.


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