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Just received a phone call from Lemhi County Farmers' Market vendor Paul Werner. He states he will be bringing to the market this week 300 lb of 4 varieties of organic apples. Woohoo!
See you at the market!
The 3rd program in our Summer Reading series will be on...
Wednesday, August 6 from 1:00 - 2:30 PM in the Library Basement for all Independent Readers, 6 to 12 year old.
science, Science & More SCIENCE! - a day of hands-on science experiments and crafts!!
Most people living in the Salmon River region are familiar with the astonishing 900-mile migration Idaho-born salmon and steelhead make each year, but may not be aware that monarch butterflies make an equally impressive long-distance migration each spring. Weighing in at a mere half gram, western monarchs arrive to latitudes north of the 35th parallel in early to mid-June to breed and lay eggs on milkweed, their required host plant. By autumn, millions of them leave milkweed patches of the northwestern U.S. and southern Canada and fly southwest, migrating 880 to 1,120 miles to wintering sites along the California coast.
After noticing patches of milkweed in the Salmon Valley, Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist Beth Waterbury wondered whether monarchs used these sites for breeding. “The growing plight of monarch populations in North America prodded me to question what role local milkweed plays in supporting the life stages and eventual migration of monarchs in the west.” The western, Rocky Mountain, and eastern populations of monarch butterflies have plummeted in the past decade due to loss of summer and winter habitats.
This summer, Waterbury and wildlife technician Toni Ruth enlisted the help of a group of citizen scientists to document where milkweed occurs and whether monarchs use local plants. Once the group started searching, they soon found more patches of the local species, showy milkweed, as well as the tiny, cream-colored eggs monarchs deposited on the underside of milkweed leaves. Return trips revealed recently hatched larva, with their characteristic black-white-yellow striping, munching away on milkweed, and adult butterflies emerging from their pupae. Most butterflies live only about a month, but the fifth and last generation emerges in late August and begins its long-distance migration to wintering grounds in California. “The monarch activity was not only exciting to find, but suggests our area is an important contributor to the western monarch population,” noted Ruth. “We’re seeking additional information on where milkweed occurs from the residents of Lemhi and Custer counties.” Local milkweed is finished flowering for the year, but its large, distinctive seed pod is easy to spot. Residents interested in reporting milkweed locations, how to identify milkweed plants, or learning more about milkweed and monarchs are invited to contact Beth Waterbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 756-2271 x-245.