Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nature's cycles

The bluebird nestlings in the Museum's box have been (re)cycled into rat snake, a not surprising aspect of unprotected bluebird boxes.

The culprit was caught in a series of webcam images, sent by Jeff Appling (his son had set up the box and webcam) and reported by Christian Cicimurri (whose computer 'hosts' the webcam).

We'll probably need to add snake protection to this box, as we have a healthy population of rat snakes in the Discovery Center and Geology Museum area. They basically function like squirrel baffles, preventing a snake from climbing up the pole that supports the birdhouse.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Butterfly gardening

We'll be breaking ground for a 'new' Butterfly Garden near the Nature Center (in the Children's Garden area) in early August. It's an exciting opportunity to add more host plants for the caterpillars of native butterflies, but also to demonstrate the wonderful range of nectar plants that Upstate gardeners can grow in their gardens. Stay tuned!

I visited a seasonal butterfly house today that was simple and effective - an excellent model for the seasonal house that we hope to have in the future.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We're on Facebook

The Garden and Museum now have Facebook fan pages. If you're on Facebook, please become a fan and help us spread the word. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The bird cam is up, again!

The Bob Campbell Geology Museum's birdcam is working again, just in time to monitor some cool activity with a couple of nestlings.

Check it out.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Snell Vegetable Garden

The kitchen garden next to the Discovery Center is looking great, in spite of recent dry weather.

Shepherded by Kathy Bridges, the garden has been converted into a three-season vegetable garden, with cool-season vegetables alternating with traditional warm-season ones. Look for an unusual sort of heirloom okra (Hill Country Red) with extra-wide pods, along with Ronde de Nice and Cocozelle zucchini squash, yard-long beans, purple pole beans, tromboncino squash, cherry tomatoes and recently planted Black Russian tomatoes. Peppers, winter squash, lemon cucumbers, Thai basil, and Genovese basil round out the summer vegetables.

We'll start to change out crops to fall-maturing varieties in late August; in fact, I'll be sowing seeds over the next couple of weeks for transplants for this garden as well as my own, and for a fall vegetable gardening program in mid-August.

We'd love to have volunteer help in this garden for light weeding, harvesting, and planting. Let me or Kathy know if you'd like to help.