Walker Nature Center
A LOOK INSIDE • Calendar 4 • Kids’ Corner 6 • Attracting Butterflies 7 • Nature Camps 8
Nature Notes JUNE By Sharon Gurtz
• • • •
Purple Coneflower, Butterfly Weed and Blue Flag Iris bloom. Look and listen for young Barred Owls. Possumhaw and Maple Leaf Viburnums bloom. American Toads mature and leave the water.
JULY • • • •
Fireflies and bats are active in the night sky. Black Rat Snakes lay eggs. Cardinal Flower and Sweet Pepperbush bloom. Praying Mantis and Katydids are common.
AUGUST • • • •
Eastern Box Turtle young hatch. Viburnums have purple berries. Goldenrods and asters bloom. Annual Cicadas produce loud sounds.
BRANCHING OUT The Buzz on Hummingbirds – Summer Breeders and Voracious Feeders By Susan Sims
Summer is here! The sun is bright; lush vegetation abounds; and one of the smallest birds is ready to start a family. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only hummingbird commonly found in eastern North America, where it summers for the breeding season. It’s easy to spot the bejeweled beauty zipping through the air, humming along, flitting from flower to flower in preparation for breeding. The energetic birds migrate from Mexico and Central America to North America in spring, completing a 20-hour trek across the Gulf of Mexico. They are iridescent emerald green, and the males are distinguished by their red jeweled throat patches, or gorgets. At a mere 3 grams, the bird is tiny to say the least, yet it certainly packs a wallop in terms of ability and traits. Hummingbirds are unique among avian species because of their tremendous flight adaptations.
Their wings beat up to 70 beats a second – more than any other bird. They can fly forward, backward and hover in one spot with precision, putting other birds and even machines to shame. In fact, their ability to hover was proven to be more efficient than mini-helicopter drones by 20 percent. But their amazing physical adaptations don’t end there. Muscles make up 30 percent of their body weight, akin to an average sized man having 60 pounds of pure muscle. If that’s not impressive, then check out the hummingbird’s extreme cardiovascular abilities. Their resting heart rate is 225 beats a minute, which increases to over 1,200 beats a minute in flight. To support this rapid metabolism, the birds will consume two times their body weight in food daily. Continued on page 2
Summer 17 Volume Nineteen
The Buzz on Hummingbirds – Summer Breeders and Voracious Feeders Continued from page 1
Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191 Enjoy year-round access to trails, free parking and restroom facilities dawn to dusk.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds enjoy nectar from long, tubed flowers and are partial to red, orange and purple blossoms. They also snatch insects out of the air and munch on the occasional spider. Their bold nature and attraction to certain flowers makes them a common visitor to garden habitats, if the right plants are present.
72 acres of forested land, a picnic pavilion, demonstration gardens, educational signage, a campfire ring, two streams, a pond, the entrance to 44-acre Lake Audubon and an interpretive green building, known as Nature House.
NATURE HOUSE HOURS
Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays
Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday 1–4 p.m. CLOSED July 4 Independence Day
FOR MORE INFORMATION
703-476-9689 • www.reston.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/walkernaturecenter
Want to attract more hummingbirds to the garden or backyard?
Choose an assortment of flowers and plants with overlapping blooming times that provide a summer full of delicious nectar. Good plants for these birds include Bee Balm, Blazing Star, Cardinal Flower, Jewelweed, Penstemon and Trumpet Creeper. The native versions of these plants are preferred, as cultivars often produce less nectar than wild native lineages. Supplying sugar water in a feeder is acceptable, but care must be paid to keep it clean to prevent fermentation and illness in the birds. Adding a mister or small bird bath will provide water. Small shrubs will give shelter, and soon, hummingbirds will be stopping by for treats. But don’t be surprised if you see them chasing one another off. They are solitary animals that usually only come together for breeding purposes. As summer progresses, the males will find mates, then continue on their way to prepare for fall migration. The female will rear the infants on her own. She’ll build a walnut-sized nest, supported by simple spider silk and lined with soft fibers. She’ll lay two eggs the size of peas, and from these eggs will hatch feisty little birds ready to take on the world in one short month. They’ll fill up on nectar and insects to increase their body weight by 40 percent before heading south in the fall.
Groups: Please call ahead to arrange your visit. Branching Out is a quarterly publication of the Walker Nature Center (WNC), owned and operated by Reston Association. The mission of the WNC is to foster an environmental stewardship ethic in the community. It is named after Reston’s first Open Space and Nature Center Director, Vernon J. Walker.
Creating a hummingbird habitat can provide hours of observational joy as well an important breeding area for our smallest birds. These vivacious beauties are known to return to the same areas year after year, even to the very same plant or feeder. So, when fall comes, don’t worry. It’ll only be a few months before the gardens, backyards and forest edges are suddenly brighter – illuminated by the lively show of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Recipe: Hummingbird Food 1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water. 2. Bring to a boil, then cool. 3. Fill feeder. Store extra food in fridge for up to 2 weeks. 4. Change food every week to prevent mold and bacteria. Change it every 2-3 days when temperatures are above 85 degrees.
Branching Out is printed on 100 percent recycled paper using soy ink. It is produced using 100 percent wind power. Please recycle.
Wildlife Counts & Classes Adults, ages 18 and over. Meet at the nature center. Counts are free. Classes are $5 or free for count participants. Volunteers are invited to enjoy a free lunch, tally results and swap stories at Nature House after all counts. Bird Class: An Introduction #206201205 Thursday, June 1 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Learn basic bird identification, and how to look and listen for the common birds of Reston. Discover the major groups of birds and the best places to watch for them. Discuss bird guides and take home a Reston bird checklist. Reservations required by May 29.
Summer Bird Count
Saturday, June 3 ∙ 6:45 a.m. - Noon
Meet local bird experts, learn tips on identification and have fun while helping us obtain important data about our feathered friends. Reservations required by May 31.
Butterfly Class: An Introduction #306201205 Thursday, July 6 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Discover the colorful and diverse lives of Reston’s “flying flowers”. Learn to identify Reston’s common butterflies, and get a basic introduction to their life history. Reservations required by July 3.
Saturday, July 8 ∙ 9:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Meet fellow butterfly lovers, learn tips on identification while helping to collect information on our fluttering friends. Data will be submitted to the North American Butterfly Association for the national 4th of July Butterfly Count Report. Reservations required by July 5.
Dragonfly Class: An Introduction #306201205 Thursday, July 20 ∙ 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Discover the fascinating lives of Reston’s “flying dragons”. Learn to identify Reston’s common dragonflies, and get a basic introduction to their bizarre behavior and complex natural history. Guest Naturalist: Ken Rosenthal, Arlington County Parks and Don Coram, Fairfax Master Naturalist. Reservations required by July 17.
Sunday, July 22 ∙ 9:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Join local dragonfly fans, learn tips on identification while helping to obtain data on our fast-flying friends. Guest Naturalist: Ken Rosenthal, Arlington County Parks and Don Coram, Fairfax Master Naturalist. Reservations required by July 19.
Please and Thank You By Katie Shaw Volunteers and donors play essential roles in Nature Center operations and environmental stewardship in Reston. We are grateful to the flocks of volunteers who helped us with Arbor Day, Nature House 5K, Earth Day and Spring Festival. If you’d like to volunteer, contact email@example.com or fill out the volunteer application at www.reston.org. Charitable donations are gratefully received by our 501c3 supporting organization, Friends of Reston, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191 or donate online at www.friendsofreston.org. Include a note that your donation is for the Nature Center. You will receive a letter for tax purposes.
Loren Bachman Birthday Guests, Charlie & Julie Bond, Larry & Melanie Butler, Chadwick Washington, John Marshall Bank, Odin Feldman Pittleman, Reston Community Center, Reston Farmers Market, Reston Garden Club
Brandon Allorittam; Akasha & Lakesha Anderson; Milly & Rosalie Armao; Aurora House; Julie Badgley; Mary Badley; Joanne & David Bauer; Berhanu Bekile; Sue Beffel; Maya Berry; Julie, Charlie, Ben & Olivia Bond; Nick Bradford; Doug Britt; Carla Brown; Greg Butcher; Anne Cannizzaro; John Carr; Jennifer Cho; Melissa Choi; Emily & Nora Colvin; Rachael Cooper; Natalia Dalton; Neel Davuluri; Freya DeCola; Sarah Dicarlo; Marilyn Dicke; Juay & Jin Din; Guy Dylan; Nancy & Ryan Erickson; June Ferrara; Linda Fuller; Alina Galraria (Scout Troop); Sharma Geetika; Robin Gimbert; Carly & Taylor Goodwyn; Janine Greenwood; Julie Grey; Ishika & Muskaan Gupta; Carol & Jay Hadlock; Iman Hadji; Ander, Artemis & Dawn Haptonstahl; Abigail Henderson; Kylie Howle; Laura & Mari Huff; Rachel Huh; Carol Ivory; Faiza Isa; Ishika & Riya Jain; William Johnson; Rohan Kanchetty; Nora Kelly; Sameeha Khan (Scout Troop); Gaurav Khullar; Jessica & Nayeon Kim; Leanna Kirkland; Carrie Kolb; Peter Larkins; Rachel Lee; Pat Lenz; Andy, Frank & Michael Liang; Amy Lim; Paulette LincolnBaker; Abby Lyle; Ankith Madhavaram; Mahamed Mahamed; Aubree Malone; Maggie Mark; Will Massey; Natalie Metz; Alex McGaffic; Amy McGowan; Sharon McHugh; Jim McNeal; Inaya & Ismael Mir (Scout Troop); Lakita Mitchell; Vanshika Mohan; Alexander Moratoya; Jet Mounkhaty; Bob Mowbray; Virag Murphy; Keden & Tamara Nguyen; Alicia Nobles; Caleb Noll; Molly O’Boyle; Thomas O’Doherty; Terri Ostrowski; Barbara Paolucci; Ellen Perrins; Dora Peterson; Monia Queen; Bryan & Matt Reinke; Samuel Rugari; Zenin Sabah; Monica & Quinn Santingelo-Cody; Jim Seret; Ritishma Sharma; Helene Shore; Amelia Shultz; Drew Slavik; Kyle Smith; Starbucks; Sure Secure Solutions; Nathan Tollbot; Katie Thompson; Nancy & Aidan Totten; Panee & Sean Vaghedi; Brenda Van Doorn; Judith Valezques; Verna Webb; Jordan Weinhouse; Bob, Nora & Russell Welland; Stephanie Williams; Craig Wong; Isabella Wyland; Zion Yamashitu; Bryn Yenesel; Luke Zhang; Eric Zou
WALKER NATURE C Register online with WebTrac www.restonwebtrac.org
Advance registration, including payment, is required for all nature activities unless otherwise noted. A WebTrac account is required for online registration. New accounts may take up to two business days for approval. If you have questions, need assistance or prefer not to register online, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-476-9689 ext. 3.
All programs will be held at the Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, unless otherwise noted. Refunds are available with two weeks’ notice or if we cancel for any reason. Activities may be canceled due to severe weather, severe weather warnings or low enrollment. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
LAKE ANNE PADDLE
Canoe or kayak on Lake Anne with a naturalist. Search for wildlife that call the lake home. Learn some lake history and how residents can help the local watershed. We’ll look for waterfowl in the cove and enjoy a relaxing evening paddle. We’ll provide the boats and safety equipment. Register by May 30. 206011007 6/2 Fri 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Lake Anne Boat Dock, Washington Plaza Adults and Children 10+ $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member JUMPING JAMBOREE
Bring your jumping shoes as we explore the lives of jumping creatures like frogs, toads and flying squirrels. Can you jump as high as a frog or as long as a grasshopper? Make a jumping craft and take a walk to look for jumping creatures. 206111001 6/5 Mon 10:00 am – 11:00 am Or 6/6 Tue 10:00 am – 11:00 am Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member OWL PROWL
Meet a wildlife rehabilitator from the Raptor Conservancy for an up-close look at some live owls of Virginia. Then prowl along the trails in search of the Nature Center’s resident owls. It will be a hootin’ good time. Register by June 6. 206011008 6/9 Fri 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm WNC Fire Ring on Soapstone Dr. between Glade Dr. and Lawyers Rd. Adults & Ages 5+ $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member
BIRD WALK: WALKER NATURE CENTER/LOWER SNAKEDEN STREAM VALLEY 6/11 Sun 7:30 am – 10:30 am Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive Adults Free, no registration required WALKING STICK WORKSHOP
School’s almost out, and it’s time to explore new territory. Make a walking stick that can travel with you on your next adventure. Choose the perfect stick, make a leather grip, and with help, engrave your name or initials to make it your own. All supplies included. Register by June 13. 206131012 6/16 Fri 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Glade Room, 11550 Glade Drive Ages 5-12 $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member KIDS FISHING DERBY
Bring your fishing rod or borrow one of ours to compete in this fun morning of fishing. No experience necessary. We’ll provide bait, prizes and light refreshments. A fishing license is not required for kids. Adults are not permitted to fish during the kids’ fishing time. Register by June 10. 206101301 6/17 Sat 9:30 am – 11:30 am Lake Audubon Boat Ramp- 2070 Twin Branches Road Ages 3-10 $5/RA Member, $7/Non-member CAMPFIRE: GOURMET S’MORES
School’s out for summer! Join us around the campfire. Dine on creative s’mores. Sing songs, share stories and enjoy a memorable evening full of fun. Register by June 20. 206011003 6/23 Fri 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm WNC Fire Ring on Soapstone Dr. between Glade Dr. and Lawyers Rd. All Ages $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member
RUNNING ON SUNSHINE
Every day the sun is hard at work supplying heat and light to our planet. Conduct experiments to see how powerful the sun’s rays are. Make a sun catcher and sun dial to take home. Register by June 21. 206121008 6/24 Sat 10:30 am – 11:30 am Ages 3-5 $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member FILM: MISSION BLUE
Legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle is on a mission to save our oceans. Part action-adventure, part expose of an eco-disaster, this Emmy award winning film follows her campaign to save the world’s oceans from threats such as overfishing and toxic waste. Her vision includes establishment of Hope Spots — special places vital to the health of the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. Watch as her dream team races around the world to defend them. Cosponsored by Friends of Reston. 206201051 Fri Adults
6/30 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Free, $5 suggested donation
CAMPFIRE: FIREWORKS SCIENCE
Celebrate the holiday around a colorful, crackling fire. Learn where the different fireworks colors come from and what causes that loud noise. Find out who made the first fireworks, and watch a cool experiment. Sparklers and toasted marshmallows provided. Register by June 30. 306011003 7/3 Mon 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm WNC Fire Ring on Soapstone Dr. between Glade Dr. and Lawyers Rd. All Ages $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member
CENTER CALENDAR BIRD WALK: BUTTERMILK CREEK TRAIL/LAKE FAIRFAX 7/9 Sun 7:30 am – 10:30 am Uplands Pool, 11032 Ring Road Adults Free, no registration required
306121008 7/29 Sat 10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ages 3-5 $5/RA Member, $7/Non-member
BUZZ GOES THE BEE
Flowers are blooming, and bees are busy gathering nectar and pollen in the gardens. Wear your own antennae and stinger and fly around like a bee. Make a cute bee craft and taste a yummy honey treat. Park at Hunters Woods Pool. Register by July 7.
Reston’s beavers are busy, and the Glade Stream Valley is the best place to observe their activities. Explore their history in Reston, their unique characteristics and the habitats they create. Meet “Buster the Beaver” then hike to the Beaver Management Area. Reservations required by July 31.
306111001 7/10 Mon 10:00 am – 11:00 am Or 7/11 Tue 10:00 am – 11:00 am Hunters Woods Pavilion - 2501 Reston Parkway Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member
306011008 8/3 Thu 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm WNC Fire Ring on Soapstone Dr. between Glade Dr. and Lawyers Rd. All ages $5/person RA members $7/person Non-members
EAGER BEAVER HIKE
Calling all fairies young and old! See add page 7. Register by July 8. Choose from two event times. 306011306 7/15 Sat. 10:00 am – 11:15 am Or 7/15 Sat. 11:30 am – 12:45 pm All Ages $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member
FIREFLIES IN JULY
Just what make those little bugs glow and why do they do it? Learn what they eat and where they live. How can you attract them to your own backyard? Find out the answers to these questions and more as we stroll by Lake Newport and explore Brown’s Chapel Park to catch a glimpse of this bioluminescent phenomenon. Make a glowing craft to take home. Register by July 18. 306011008 7/21 Fri 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm The Lake House, 11450 Baron Cameron Ave. All Ages $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member KNEE DEEP IN A CREEK
July hot days are perfect for dipping your feet into the cool water. Explore Snakeden Branch stream looking for frogs, tadpoles, minnows and other aquatic creatures. Wear your wading shoes and clothes than can get dirty. We will provide nets and buckets. Register by July 26.
Want to know what all the “buzz” is about? Our guest presenter, Louise Edsall, is a veteran beekeeper and founder of Bees in Schools. Her engaging presentation is for all ages and includes information on bee behavior and the importance of bees and other pollinators in our lives. Learn how bees communicate, their life cycles, and observe bees through an observation hive. 306011008 8/5 Sat 10:30 am – 11:30 am All Ages $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
This classic tale of transformation, by Eric Carle, will fascinate your children and help them see butterflies in a whole new way. Discover what metamorphosis is all about through movement, crafts and a themed snack. 306111001 8/7 Mon 10:00 am – 11:00 am Or Tue 8/8 10:00 am – 11:00 am Hunters Woods Pavilion - 2501 Reston Parkway Ages 18-35 months $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member
Dip into a cool stream to escape the heat of summer. Use a net to search for fish and frogs, and take a peek under rocks to look for insects. Wear your wading shoes and clothes that can get dirty. We’ll provide the nets and buckets. 306011007 8/12 Sat 10:30 a.m. – Noon All Ages $5/RA Member, $7/ Non-member BIRD WALK: BROWN’S CHAPEL PARK 8/13 Sun 7:30 am – 10:30 am Brown’s Chapel Park, 1575 Brown’s Chapel Road Adults Free, no registration required BEAUTIFUL BLUEBIRDS
Chur-lee, chur-lee! Did you hear that? It’s a bluebird calling. These colorful birds catch our eye through the spring and summer as they zip around busily feeding their young. Learn about these special birds and take a peek inside a nest box to see who’s home. Register by August 11. Park at the pool. 306121008 8/16 Wed 10:30 am – 11:30 pm Hunters Woods Pavilion, 2501 Reston Parkway Ages 3-5 $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT
Calling all shutter bugs! Bring your digital camera or smartphone, and search the trails for a list of interesting and creative pictures to compose. Gather back at Nature House to enjoy refreshments and share favorite photos. Prizes will be presented in kids and adult categories. Register by August 16. 306011008 Sat All Ages
8/19 10:30 am – 11:30 am $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member
CAMPFIRE: GAME NIGHT
Corn hole, jumbo tic-tac-toe, frog launch and more! Come enjoy game night at the fire ring with your friends and family. We’ll close out the evening with some tasty s’mores. Register by August 11. 306011003 8/25 Fri 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm WNC Fire Ring on Soapstone Dr. between Glade Dr. and Lawyers Rd. All Ages $6/RA Member, $8/Non-member
How can you help? DIY Bird Bath Like most songbirds, Bluebirds love to bathe. Bird baths can help them remove dust, loose feathers and parasites. It’s important to keep bird baths clean to prevent algae growth, disease and pesky mosquitoes.
1. Ask an adult to help you pick out a large saucer or shallow bowl to be used for your bird bath. If you find more than one, you can put them at different heights on wide railings, tables or stumps. 2. Fill your bird bath with fresh water at least every 2-3 days. 3. Find a brush or sponge that will be used only for cleaning your bird bath. Remove leaves and scrub your bath weekly. If it gets really dirty, mix a splash of white vinegar with some water to use as a safe cleaner. Never use store bought soap or detergent.
Bluebird Report from the 1st Tall Tulip Poplar By Earl the Squirrel (with help from Idalina Walker) Today I am happy to announce that we have new additions to our neighborhood. The bluebird family has had chicks! Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird moved to the Nature Center a month ago. First Mr. Bluebird flapped his bright blue wings for Ms. Bluebird who thought that he was very grand indeed. Then he went and found some juicy insects for her. She was delighted. With all his flapping and gifts of food, she thought he’d make a great dad. So they set off to find a home. Bluebirds are cavity nesters. That doesn’t mean they have holes in their teeth. It means they like to live in holes in trees. The best holes are the big ones left behind by woodpeckers. Sometimes it can be hard to find a natural hole. Luckily, some nice people have put up bird houses to help. The pair that moved in by me found a lovely bluebird box put up by the Nature Center staff. Mrs. Bluebird was very busy building the nest. She gathered materials like grass and pine needles to weave together inside the box. She even lined the nest with soft things so their chicks would be nice and cozy. Mr. Bluebird carefully guarded the nest. Nest building is hard work and can take as long as a week. When this job was done, Mrs. Bluebird laid pale blue eggs, one per day until she had five. For two weeks, Mrs. Bluebird sat on the eggs to keep them warm, while Mr. Bluebird brought her food. After all their hard work, the eggs finally hatched. Now there are five chirping nestlings (baby birds) to feed. The new parents fly back and forth bringing yummy insects for them to eat.
Number the pictures below (1-4) in the correct order from egg to nestling, fledgling to adult. Answers below
Momma and Pappa Bluebird also clean the nest by taking out the chicks’ bird droppings. Their babies are mainly eating caterpillars and soft insects now, just like you ate soft food as a baby. As they get older, they will try more exciting foods like big beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and spiders. After about 3 weeks, they will leave the nest and try out their wings. That is when we call them fledgings. Don’t be surprised to see them hopping on the ground and sitting in the bushes while they are learning to fly and catch food on their own. No need to pick them up or try to rescue them. Their parents are almost always nearby looking out for them—just like human parents.
Answers: A. 2 B. 1 C. 3 D. 4
Attracting Butterflies: Not for Adults Only! By Sharon Gurtz
Friday, August 11 7 - 9 p.m. Adults #306201052 Free, $5 suggested donation Temperatures are hot outside, so join us inside for some of the coolest short films that shed new light on environmental topics in concise, creative and quirky ways. Popcorn and drinks for sale. Cosponsored by Friends of Reston. Reservations requested by August 10.
Fairy Festival Saturday, July 15 (Register by July 8) #306110306 10:00 am – 11:15 am or 11:30 am – 12:45 pm All Ages $7/RA Member, $9/Non-member
Calling all fairies young and old! We invite you to experience the magic of gossamer wings, fairy wands and enchanting tales. Sip fairy tea and enjoy refreshments with the Fairy Queen. Make crafts, find hidden fairies, explore a woodland trail filled with fairy houses, and help to build a fairy house from natural materials.
Attracting butterflies seems simple enough - plant some nice flowering natives, and they will come. This approach can work, but a little more planning will likely yield more success. Even though your goal may be to attract adult butterflies to your yard, long-term success requires supporting butterfly species throughout their entire life cycle. Food requirements are very different between adult and larval butterfly stages, mainly because the differing mouth parts dictate the types of food consumed. Plants that nourish the leaf chewing caterpillars (larvae) are not necessarily plants that provide the nectar needed by the adult. Generalizations are dangerous. Not all caterpillars eat leaves – some eat flowers, fruits and seeds. Not all adult butterflies sip nectar – some feed on tree sap, rotting animal matter and other organic material. Similar to some other insects, there are a few species that do not feed at all as adults living off food reserves from the larval stage long enough to mate and lay eggs. However, this is more the exception than the rule.
Tips to attract butterflies:
• Grow a mix of both host plants for the larval caterpillars, and nectar plants for the adults. Many trees and shrubs serve as host plants and overwintering sites, whereas sun-loving flowers serve as nectar sources. • Provide native flowering plants throughout the growing season. Include early, middle and late season bloomers. • Eliminate the use of pesticides, especially insecticides. • Leave dead foliage of many perennials until spring to provide winter cover. • Let leaf litter accumulate where you can to provide overwintering sites for larvae or pupae of some species. • Remove invasive species and replace with natives. • Include rocks in your butterfly garden to provide warm sunning spots. Butterflies are cold blooded and need a nice sunny place to warm up when it is cool. The lists of host and nectar plants are long and vary by species. Remember that the more species of flowering plants, the more species of butterflies you will attract. You can’t go wrong with these three top bets for nectar sources: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae). You may already have many of the caterpillar host plants in your yard which can include herbs such as dill, flowering plants such as the milkweeds and coneflowers, and trees such as oaks and tulip poplars.
For more information about butterflies and their host and nectar plants see: North American Butterfly Association: http://nababutterfly.com/butterfly-garden-plants/
The Butterfly Website: http://www.butterflywebsite.com/butterflygardening.cfm Green Spring Gardens: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/infosheets/butterfliesandmoths.pdf
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID RESTON, VA PERMIT NO. 21
www.reston.org Walker Nature Center 11450 Glade Drive Reston, Virginia 20191
Come to Camp at the Walker Nature Center
Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive Online at www.restonwebtrac.org or in person at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive Nature Tots #306120101
Walker’s Rangers #306130102 Ages: 6 – 9 by Sept. 30, 2017 Dates: Monday – Friday, Four one-week sessions Time: 9 a.m. - Noon Fee: RA members - $90 Non-members - $115
Globe Trotters Beauties and Beasties Session 1A: June 26-30 Session 1B: July 3, 5-7 No Camp on July 4
Beetlemania Session 2A: July 10-14
Expedition Earth Session 2B: July 17-21
Super Scientists Session 4A: August 7-11
Nature Trekkers Session 4B: August 14-18
Ages: Days: Time: Fee:
3 – 5 by Sept. 30, 2017 (Campers must be potty trained.) Monday – Friday, Four One-week sessions 8:45-11:45 a.m. or 1-4 p.m. RA members – $90/session (Session 1B= $72/session) Non-members – $115 (Session 1B = $92)
Nature’s Symphony Session 3A: July 24-28
Aqua Tots Session 3B: July 31-August 4
Kids Outdoors #306131009 Tuesday, August 22 ∙ 9 a.m. - Noon $15/child RA members $20/child Non-members Ages 7 to 10
Summer fun is not over yet. Parents: Drop off your kids for a morning packed with outdoor activity! Kids: Top off your summer with a walk on the wild side. Activities will include an “I Spy” nature adventure, fishing in Lake Audubon, creeking for critters in the stream, a trailside snack, and a natural craft to take home. Reservations required by August 18.
Summer 17 Volume Nineteen