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Updated: Jan 9

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

At this time of year I become a "butterfly widow".  My husband, and his "boy

friends", head out almost every weekend to do Odonate (dragonflys and

damselflies) and Lepidoptera (butterfly)  surveys.    They travel to

Alongquin Park, Sunderland, Point Pelee and of course they do surveys in

Haliburton County.   Some of the team helps out with the Killarney Survey.

In a survey they identify and estimate the numbers of each species in a

given area.  It is citizen science which is about people who want volunteer

and go out and collect data which then is given to scientists.  Jim, and his

friends do it (and bird counts at Christmas) because they love to learn, be

outside, be together on an adventure and they care about on going health of these living beings.    They always come home with the funny and interesting stories.  In Sunderland this year, they found a field and they were surrounded by thousands of Northern Crescent and Wood Nymph butterflies. They said it was magical.   Jim came home with stories of Sedge Sprites, Violet Dancers,  Eastern Forktales.   I just love the names of these dragonflies and damselflies!   The guys spend all day paying attention to the smallest details on these creatures.  That is how they identify them. It is fascinating.   

And in order to get ready for a survey, my husband will

go out into the garden or meadow to practice or brush up on his identifying

skills.  While out in the meadow last week he found this little yellow crab

spider on a plant.  He laughed as he told Madeline that the spider was so

hot that it was all spread out on this plant and his little leg was hanging

over the edge.   That little crab spider was on that plant every day for the

next five days.   It is wonderful to be able to slow down and pay attention

to these little miracles that are around us all of the time.  I've been

paying attention to details in my own, but different way this summer.  I had

the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the newest sculpture at the

Haliburton Sculpture Forest.  It was donated by Noreen Blake and it is

exquisite.  It is called " A Conspiracy of Ravens" and what I love about it

is the details that are on the birds (on top and underneath and inside the

mouths of the birds). I love that it is a piece that feels like it is in

motion and that you can touch it.    I have a whole new appreciation for

Ravens, and for this kind of art.   Years ago a yoga teacher said to me

"instead of thinking this posture needs to look or feel a certain way, focus

on what is possible today."  I think there are so many possibilities around

us in the county.  We are lucky.   

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