When we get to the mouth of Chaires Creek, the tide has gone out enough to see the tops of some oysters. It’s a little after 1 pm- high tide was 10:16 am, and low tide is 4:02 pm. If we stay too much longer, the mouth of the creek will be choked by oyster bars, and sand bars will make the kayak back to Tucker Lake slow going.
(Above) Zoe, Dylan, and Max sit in a field of bog buttons after a day of sampling ephemeral wetlands in the Apalachicola National Forest. Read more about their adventures in citizen science below. Thanks to Dylan’s dad, Don, for letting us use his photo. And thanks to my wife, Amy, for taking most of the photos below.
In the video below, first time WFSU producer Zach Hunter takes us to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge for an early morning of trapping and tagging monarch butterflies. Earlier in Local Routes season 2, we watched as ecology producer Rob Diaz de Villegas and his family raised monarch caterpillars. Here, we see another phase of this butterfly’s remarkable journey.
To tag monarch butterflies, you have to get to where they are before they wake up. Lucky for us, they go to a pretty good place to watch a sunrise. When the sun finally rose over Lighthouse Pond in the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge, volunteers had been at work for over an hour. It was mid November, just past the peak migration season. There weren’t many butterflies to see. Continue reading Monarch Tagging at the St. Marks Refuge | Citizen Science at Sunrise→
In this two minute video, we can see monarch caterpillars eat, grow, form a chrysalis, and emerge as butterflies. All while two young children look on. Look for a video on butterfly gardening on October 20 on Local Routes (8 pm ET on WFSU-TV), featuring Lilly Anderson-Messec of Native Nurseries.
Once again, Tallahassee’s own Hot Tamale composed some original music for us to use in this segment. Thanks again Craig and Adrian!
Over the summer, my family and I have been witnessing a one-of-a-kind migration pass through a critical habitat: our backyard. It started last month, when I spotted several monarch caterpillars munching on our garden milkweed. We brought them into our home. It was a great opportunity for my sons to witness the life cycle of the most intriguing butterfly species to (temporarily) call our area home. Continue reading Monarch: From Caterpillars to Butterflies (and right in our kitchen)→