A family of racoons peered out at the campers after scurrying up the 337 year oak tree on the Silverwood Park farmstead.
Mary Anne Buenzow, a retired Dane County forester, led the groups on a hike through the woods and discussed the work of a forester and the sustainability of forest products. Mary Anne engaged students in using an increment borer to take core samples to determine age; as well as a clinometer, and Biltmore Stick to measure tree size - just some of the tools of her work. In addition she talked about the various types of trees and plants in the woods at Silverwood.
Emily Halapatz, an environmental educator, shared her fascination with monarchs. Emily grows milkweed and other nectar plants for monarchs in her yard. Monarchs are part of the Pollinator Family. If it weren’t for Monarchs, bats bees, and other essential insects, plants would not be pollinated. Pollination is sustainable/regeneration of all plants. Emily, delights in watching monarchs eat, form their chrysalis, emerge from their chrysalis, and after their wings have dried, fly away - sometimes this process will take 20 minutes while she is able to just sit and watch. She shared some videos and a Powerpoint of the process, but also brought some monarchs that she had collected in various stages of their life cycle - which awed the campers!
Campers found this monarch caterpillar on dill in the herb garden!