Check Out Photos from the Live Camera

One of the regulars in the Cherry Creek Habitat: a skunk

About this photo: One of the skunks we see regularly in habitat photos captured with the live cam.
This photo was taken March 28, 2015 at 1 a.m. CT

Last fall, a Web camera was mounted so everyone could watch a live stream view of the Cherry Creek Habitat 24/7. In addition to the change in seasons, viewers have also enjoyed wildlife using this educational area.

A couple weeks ago, I went through the camera still shots and pulled together some of the highlights from January-April 2015. Vicki in our office posted the photos to Flickr. The list of wildlife includes: two different skunks, two raccoons, two cats, a small herd of deer, rabbits, squirrels, birds and a wild turkey. There is a description with the date/time of day each still photo was taken.

Cherry Creek Habitat Web Cam Still Photos 2015 – more photos will be added each month. Enjoy!

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

What is blooming in the habitat

Prairie ragwort is a native plant that blooms May through June. This wildflower is a biennial or short-lived perennial that is approximately one foot tall.  It attracts many pollinators like bees, flies, moths and butterflies.

MJ

Prairie ragwort blooming now in the Cherry Creek Habitat.

Prairie ragwort blooming now in the Cherry Creek Habitat.

Happy Earth Day!

Ten Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
1. Learn about pollinators.
2. Make a bird or bee house.
3. Plant native plants.
4. Recycle.
5. Fix leaky faucets.
6. Pick up trash.
7. Carpool, ride a bike or walk to your destination.
8. Give up bottled water.
9. Start buying local.
10. Go paperless.

MJ

Solitary bee house.

Solitary bee house.

Smooth aster.

Smooth aster.

Teaching Youth about Pollinators

Yesterday Soni and I were presenters at the Outdoor Discovery Program held at Platte River State Park.  The weather was perfect, sunny, with a slight breeze. We taught 4th graders about pollinators and what they need for a habitat. We discussed one out of every three bites of food we eat is there because of pollinators. We asked the youth if they could make a list of pollinators and they easily mentioned bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. The kids were surprised to learn that flies and beetles could be pollinators too. We talked about native solitary bees and showed them bee houses.The youth were able to view pollinators in action since it was a beautiful spring day and there were blooming wild plums near our site.  The kids were provided journals so they could record their observations. Thank you Nebraska Game and Parks for providing youth this wonderful educational opportunity.

M J

Waiting for kids to arrive.

Waiting for kids to arrive.

New Plant Tags

Finally a sunny day!  I was very grateful for the rain we received, but it is really nice to see the sun.  The wild plums are blooming in the habitat and they smell glorious. We ordered new plant tags to label our native plants.  It is important that our pollinator habitat remain a learning tool.  By labeling our native plants, visitors will be able to learn how attractive native plants can be in the landscape and hopefully plant them in their gardens.

M J

New plant label in pollinator habitat.

New plant label in pollinator habitat.

Wild plum blooming near pollinator habitat.

Wild plum blooming near pollinator habitat

Spring in the Pollinator Habitat!

Spring officially begins with the vernal equinox today.  We are so ready for spring weather.  Plants are just starting to green up in the habitat.  The purple poppy mallow is starting to grow.  All winter I have kept the sunflower seed bird feeders and finch sock feeders filled for our habitat bird population.  We have seen northern cardinal, American goldfinch, purple finch and dark-eyed junco visiting our feeders. In the evenings, raccoons, skunks, rabbits and deer have been seen on our live cam.  We are pleased so much wildlife is visiting our habitat.  We look forward to seeing our insect pollinators soon.

MJ

Purple poppy mallow growing in the habitat.

Purple poppy mallow growing in the habitat.

Habitat view and bird feeders in early February.

Habitat view and bird feeders in early February.

Are You Working on Your Native Bee Nest Boxes?

Bee Nest Box Structure - Bee Hotel

Bee Nest Box for the Cherry Creek Habitat

Now’s a great time to be working on your native bee nesting blocks and insect hotels. Make your structures simple or complex, basic or creative. The native bees won’t care – you’ll just want to provide a variety of hole sizes in the blocks or tubes you provide.

Check out Attracting Pollinators to Your Landscape. This resource also includes directions on how to make native bee nesting blocks. Once you’ve made your nesting blocks/structures, you can set those out in your landscape this spring.

Speaking of spring…It won’t be long and we’ll start to see “spring” in the Cherry Creek Habitat. You can enjoy the seasons with us on the live cam. The native bee nesting box structure and insect hotel are on the north side of the habitat – near the back of the camera view. Enjoy – watch live here.

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

New Year Resolution

Here is a new year resolution I plan to keep.  Plant more native plants. We have over 3o native plants growing in our habitat.  We hope to plant more this spring. Here is a list of a few that we have growing.  Hope it will inspire you to plant more natives this year.

Smooth aster in the habitat.

Smooth aster in the habitat.


Pasque flower Anemone patens
Butterfly milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
Common milkweed Asclepias syriaca
Whorled milkweed Asclepias verticillata
Swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
Pitcher sage Salvia azurea
Purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Plains coreopsis Coreopsis tinctoria
Smooth aster Aster laevis
Spiked gayfeather Liatris spicata
Rough gayfeather Liatris aspera
Dotted gayfeather Liatris punctata
Thickspike gayfeather Liatris pycnostachya
Common yarrow Achillea millefolium
Hoary vervain Verbena stricta
Purple poppy mallow Callirhoe involucrata
Prairie aster Aster turbinellus

Happy New Year!

MJ

Butterfly Byway in Nebraska!

Butterfly Byway poster by Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition.

Butterfly Byway poster by Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition.

I received an early Christmas present from my husband.  I framed this fabulous poster and hung it in my office.  I love that our state is promoting the great assets we have here in Nebraska. Assets that have always been here and will continue to be here if we are good stewards. There are 12 posters in the collection.  Go to Visit The Prairie at http://visittheprairie.com/ to see the collection and order a poster or postcards.  My husband picked up my poster at Hardin Hall here in Lincoln (33rd & Holdrege). The Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition is committed to promoting environmental conservation and building thriving communities through nature-based tourism in the Great Plains. The Coalition includes both non-profit and for-profit members and is coordinated by staff at the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

MJ

Sunflower Seed Feeders for the Habitat

Today sunflower seed bird feeders were placed in the habitat.  Soni found sturdy metal brackets to hold the bird feeders I obtained for the habitat.  Chris installed the brackets on our blue pole and helped me hang the feeders after I filled them with sunflower seeds. Thank you Chris! The cardinals, juncos and other birds in the area will appreciate the feeders this winter.

MJ

Sunflower seed feeders added to habitat.

Sunflower seed feeders added to habitat.

Close up view of sunflower seed feeder.

Close up view of sunflower seed feeder.