Tag: insects

June 22, 2019 | with Rich Hatfield

OHA’s bumble bee field trip on June 22, 2019 provided community members with an opportunity to learn about the bumble bee species in our area, their importance to our ecosystem, as well as ways we can help conserve them. In an effort to learn more about bumble bees to improve evidence-based bumble bee conservation guidance, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Oregon Bee Project, has launched the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas. On a trip around the Okanogan Highlands, Rich Hatfield, Xerces Society conservation biologist, shared information about the Atlas Project, how to participate, and the value that the project will have to our area, both locally, and more regionally. The group conducted a point survey at Lost Lake to help determine the number of bumble bee species living there, along with a rapid habitat survey. More about the survey: www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org/point-surveys.html

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April 5, 2019 | With Caitlin LaBar

Okanogan County is host to 124 of the 155 butterfly species recorded in Washington. Caitlin spoke about some of the eco-geographical aspects that contribute to this incredible diversity, what species you can expect to commonly find, and some of the more reclusive species to watch for. We also learned how to contribute to ongoing research by photographing and recording data through various methods. Two of Caitlin’s books were available for purchase: Butterflies of the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area and Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Washington, both of which were used as part of OHA’s 2018 butterfly field trip.

“The Sinlahekin is one of my favorite places, always changing and yielding new discoveries, yet always familiar. In studying what makes it so unique, I’ve explored many parts of the Okanogan…”

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Butterflies are the quintessential symbol of renewal through change. In a world that is rapidly changing, the Highland Wonders educational series provides opportunities for our community to learn more about the natural world, with the hope that these experiences may renew our enthusiasm to take care of the rich biodiversity around us. 

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Dragonflies and damselflies are often called birdwatchers’ insects. Active and brilliantly colored, these four-winged predators fly everywhere over pristine wetlands. Their very different-looking larvae are dominant predators in the water below. They have the best vision and the most versatile flight of any insects, and their sex life is similarly superlative.

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A passionate naturalist and pioneer in native bee biology, Dr. Don Rolfs presented his own unique and beautiful photographs of native bees of Washington State. Seven years in the making, this fast-moving, profusely illustrated presentation on April 1st, 2016, was thoroughly enjoyed by both adults and children.

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On Friday, April 3, 2015, Dennis Paulson, one of the most knowledgeable naturalists in the Northwest, opened a window into the lives of dragonflies and damselflies in our region, sharing his interest in their biodiversity and biology. In a profusely illustrated lecture, “Dragonflies: Rainbows on the Wing,” Dennis shared all about the lives of these interesting creatures and how they fit into their environment.

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Pollinating insects have a big job, helping plants produce fruit not only in gardens and orchards, but also among many native species like wild strawberries, huckleberries, thimbleberries, wax currants, and others that require pollination to reproduce. Dr. Bob Gillespie is helping keep track of our native pollinators, making observations and assessing how well they are functioning. On Friday, March 1st, Bob came to Highland Wonders to share about the surprising diversity of species pollinating the native plants in our region.

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