To the editor:
Fall is in the air in Cache Valley; cooler mornings, shorter days, and the beginning of the fall bird migration season. It is time to clean out your feeders and hang them with care. Make sure you are well stocked with a variety of food for birds, like sunflower seeds, millet, meal worms, and suet. This will ensure you get a diversity of visitors at your feeders and provide them with much needed nourishment on their journey south. Consider leaving taller flowers in your garden for additional seed and perches. Don’t forget to brush off your binoculars and have your bird book handy. Fall is a great time to learn about the many amazing birds that travel through our valley.
You may have heard about the continued decline in monarch butterfly populations. Monarchs are a migratory insect that breed in Cache Valley and make a miraculous trek to wintering grounds on the coast of California and in Mexico. Nibley’s Firefly Park is host to one of the few sites in Utah where citizen scientists are evaluating the large milkweed stands for monarch breeding activity as part of a Xerces (www.xerces.org) study. Adult butterflies have been observed gently coasting through the park’s natural environment. If you would like to know more about the study or learn about ways to get involved in monarch conservation efforts, contact Becky Yeager. Becky will be tagging and releasing monarchs raised in her own backyard population throughout the month of September. If you would like to share in this experience, please let her know.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Nibley City and the Cache Valley Wildlife Association will be hosting several activities at Firefly Park. The city will dedicate a pollinator garden that has been designed to attract and support pollinating insect and birds. The dedication will be followed by a plant and seed exchange. Bring seeds collected from your garden or those that didn’t quite make it into the ground this summer, to share with others. Also, bring over zealous perennials from your yard; this is a great time to thin them out. However, you don’t need to bring anything. Simply come pick up seeds/plants and chat about types that do well in our area.
Finally, bring your gloves and shovel. During the seed/ plant exchange, the CVWA will be planting more plants in the pollinator garden at Firefly Park. Nibley City is providing the plants for this butterfly-shaped garden. The specific plants used will provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. For more information on this event, contact Becky Yeager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-6283.