October 2014 Newsletter
I love Halloween! As a child it was my slice of Heaven. Like most of our holidays, it mixes bits of religion and paganism. In Mexico, it is celebrated as the Day of the Dead. The pagan part of holidays often has a tie to nature and both holidays started as traditional end of the harvest celebrations. Also, October 31st is All Hallows' Eve, the day before All Hallow's or All Saints Day, which is historically a time to remember ancestors who have died.
In Mexico, this celebration takes an interesting twist and dance with Monarch Butterflies. Monarchs migrate to the United States and Canada in March with the last generation traveling to Mexico to winter over on the Day of the Dead celebration. Some believe that Monarchs are returning souls of the dead since their return coincides with the celebration.
At Blue Heron, we have adopted Monarchs as our poster child for native plants, climate change, habitat loss and creatures on the imperiled list. Monarch numbers have significantly dropped and some are predicting the demise of their migration.
At Blue Heron we are partnering with Georgia Power to launch our "Meadows for Monarchs" program. We hope to encourage you to plant milkweed for Monarchs and not trees in areas under power lines. Milkweed is the crucial plant for Monarch survival. As part of this program, we are offering educational opportunities to learn about the Monarchs including starting butterfly gardens at schools, churches and retirement homes.
Contact us and join our program to help Monarchs!
Second Saturday Safari: October
Join us at Canterbury Court!
Presenter Trecia Neal, an expert on establishing gardens for monarchs, will teach us all about the amazing and endangered two-way migration of monarch butterflies. Enjoy learning how we can help monarchs, and take a walk through the beautiful garden at Canterbury Court. If possible, we will view live monarchs!
As part of an EPA "5 Star Grant", we purchased and have installed 3 wildlife cameras in the Preserve. We are capturing fantastic photographs and video of the animals that live at the Preserve, here are links to see a few recent visitors... Fox, Deer, Raccoons.
There's one additional video we recently captured of a mystery creature. Email Kevin McCauley with your guesses: firstname.lastname@example.org. BTW, the animal only appears at the beginning of the video.
A new and important outreach of our Monarch educational programming is happening this fall at the Church of the Atonement in Sandy Springs. The church supports an after school enrichment program for Latino children at Highpoint Elementary.
Amy and Diane from Blue Heron are supporting this enrichment with art and science on a weekly basis. Since the Latino culture in Atlanta has a geographic connection to Monarchs this seemed like a wonderful outreach opportunity to connect this community to the environment here.
Second Saturday Safari:
Learn how to install a Rain Garden at your home and recycle water to your plants.
Save the Date!
Holiday Open House:
November 22, 4pm - 6pm
We will have art, activities for children, delicious food, a movie and more!
My work and joy everyday is to care about the earth and to find the best way to do it in my own back yard.
This month I helped raise Frieda, a beautiful Monarch butterfly. I sent her off to Mexico on a bright sunny day and was happy to see she struck out west for home.
I sent her with love to my sweet friend Jason who just moved to Mexico to join his partner Diego.
Jason, keep an eye out for Frieda she is winging your way!
Happy Halloween! Feliz Dia de Los Muertos!