Sunday, October 10, 2010

Upcoming Activities at the Grosse Ile Nature Area

Nature Area Fall Clean-Up
Come when you can:
Saturday October 16th 9:00am - noon
Saturday October 16th 1:00 - 4:00pm
Sunday October 17th 1:00 - 4:00pm Buckthorn Battle

Celebration: Nature Area Re-Opens / Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 1:00pm

1:00 pm Ceremony with local & US elected officials, EPA and FWS representatives to officially open the Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

1:30 - 3:30pm Guided Tours by the Grosse Ile Nature & Land Conservancy.

1:30 - 3:30pm Birds of Prey Meet & Greet sponsored by DTE.

The Nature Area will remain open for walks until 4pm.

Please note that no parking will be available at the Gibraltar Bay Unit. All parking for the event will be at the Grosse Ile Township Hall (9601 Groh Road, Grosse Ile, MI 48138); a bus will be leaving every 20 minutes starting at 12:30

Saturday, October 24, 2009

17th Annual Membership Meeting

The Annual Membership Meeting of the Grosse Ile Nature & Land Conservancy will be Saturday November 7th at 10AM at Centennial Farm.

All members are invited to join us for a continental breakfast to learn firsthand about the organization's activities over the last year. The Conservationist of the Year Award will be announced at this time. Take this opportunity to meet with members of the board to discuss past and future projects.

This year we are delighted to have Conservancy members Tracey and Roger Gaudette of Island Gold join us for the meeting. They will discuss their beekeeping activities on Grosse Ile, honey production and the decline of the honeybees.

Meeting Agenda:
10:15 – Welcome & Introductions (Liz Hugel / President)
10:20 - State of the Conservancy and Awards (Hugel)
10:35 - Election of Board of Directors (Pat Selby / Nominations Chair)
10:45 - Guest Presentation (Gaudette / Island Gold)
11:15 - Committee Reports & Informal Discussions (All)

Non-members are also welcome to attend this meeting, learn more about the Conservancy and sign up for membership.

We look forward to seeing you there!

It's almost time to start planning for next year's events. We hosted birds of prey in 2008, reptiles and butterflies in 2009, so what'll we do for 2010??? No matter what, we will again sponsor another Nature & Wildlife Photo Contest. So if you're in high school or middle school, I hope you've been taking pictures this summer and fall. Click here to see the 2009 winners.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers we managed to plant ~ 45 viburnum, elderberry, wiegelia, butterfly and arbor vitae bushes, ~ 10 oak & blue spruce trees and a few flats of joe pye weed and ironweed at Intrepid Pond last Saturday.

It was a tough job digging the holes, since the ground was dry and hard as rock. Nevertheless, our volunteers persevered and managed to get the job done by about 1pm.

As we finished mulching and spreading wood chips a number of killdeer birds arrived at the pond and screeched at us to hurry up and be gone. A 10-inch bullfrog jumped around the inlet pipe and grumbled (at us or the birds?).

Although a few of us had some sore muscles & blisters afterwards, the aches will be forgotten as we enjoy a healthier pond, the vegetation and some shade there in future years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day Celebration on Grosse Ile is this Sunday April 26th

We're hoping for sunshine this coming Sunday when we host our annual Earth Day Celebration. It'll be at Centennial Farm , 25795 Third Street on Grosse Ile, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Even though you may celebrate Earth Day every day, this Sunday will be special. Come join us for an exciting program!

This year we will kick start the event with a R.E.P.T.I.L.E. presentation by Michael Brophy. If you're an adult and comfortable with the idea, you'll have an opportunity to volunteer to assist with holding these creatures. For the rest of you, those who might be a little squeamish about snakes and lizards, or let's say for those whose preference in nature's beauty leans to the fluttering instead of the slithering - we'll also have an exhibit on BUTTERFLIES available all afternoon. Jed Bromefield, the "Butterfly Man", will have lots of specimens from the different life stages, some living, to capture your attention and interest.

As in years past, we'll have guided nature walks in the Centennial Farm Woods, a number of displays and games with prizes for the kids. Our "Re-Use" Table this year will be a toy exchange. Children should bring a gently used, clean toy that they can exchange for another.

Also new this year will be our first Nature & Wildlife Photo Contest for Middle & High School students. We'll have a judge pick a "Best in Show" winner and perhaps a few Honorable Mentions if the turnout and quality is high enough. Hopefully we'll have a nice display of entries and you'll be able to take a few minutes from 1 -3 pm to vote for the "People's Choice" award winner. Click here for the entry form and instructions

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The GINLC Annual Membership Meeting will be Saturday November 8th starting at 10AM at Centennial Farm. All members are invited to come to enjoy a continental breakfast and learn firsthand about the organization's activities over the last year. The Conservationist of the Year Award will be announced at this time.

We are delighted to have Kristi Thiel join us for the meeting. She is the Park Ranger for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and she will tell us more about its programs and activities.

Meeting Agenda:
10:00 - Introductions
10:05 - State of the Conservancy (Liz Hugel / President)
10:15 - Election of Board of Directors (Pete Rock / Chair)
10:20 - Guest Presentation (Kristi Thiel)
10:45 - Committee Reports & Informal Discussions (All)

Members will be given a complimentary reusable shopping bag with the GINLC logo. Additional bags will be available for a $5 suggested donation.

Non-members are welcome to attend this meeting, learn more about the GINLC and sign up for membership.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nature Area - June Photos

Here are some photos from last week taken by Margarete Hasserodt at the Nature Area. She joined the Grosse Ile Wildlife Photography club led by Karen Skrocki and she's getting lots of practice. This tree in full bloom at the Nature Area is a Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

MH notes that this tree was donated by Al Schweickart as a Memorial tree for his wife Eleanor in 1995. He was the father of John Schweickart and a great supporter of the Nature Area. Al arrived for every workday and brought his grandsons along. He lived in Dearborn and also built bird houses for our annual meetings' raffle. Margarete says she has an old picture of Al from their first bird walk at the Nature Area and remembers fondly how "We were all so young!"

In late summer the dogwood tree is loaded with fruit. Although the fruit is poisonous to humans, it is very good for wildlife. It doesn't last long on the branches at the Nature Area.

Julie Craves at UM-Dearborn helped to identify this tiny creature
observed resting on a limestone rock. It's a Common Whitetail Dragonfly. Can you see that the ends of the forewings and hindwings look like little flags. Julie wrote that they started emerging in early June and are one of our most abundant summer dragonflies around ponds and shorelines. Interestingly, MH read that dragonflies rest with wings outstretched while the "more delicate" damselfly rests with wings folded. Hmm, makes me wonder: who came up with these names?
In case you're wondering, dragonflies come in both sexes, as do damselflies. Here's a neat photo of a common damselfly (from Wikipedia). The females both lay eggs in water where the nymphs develop, feeding on other aquatic insects. They leave the water after several growing stages; the skin splits and the adult emerges. You'll be happy to learn that they don't sting or bite and they eat small insects like mosquitoes. MH knew that Julie was a good reference for her question because Julie performed a dragonfly and damselfly survey at the Nature Area a few years ago. Julie is also author of the book Birds of Southeast Michigan and we appreciate her interest in our area.