The Dallas County News announced in September that the annual Prairie Awakening-Prairie Awoke Celebration at Kuehn Conservation Area would take place on September 7th this year. They report, “The celebration theme this year is ‘Much can be learned by watching children at play.’ This is a reflection on the words of Black Elk, the Lakota Elder, who said, ‘Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of the little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.’
Although the participants did not get to enjoy the full event due to rain, the opening ceremonies, community, scenery, and set up for the event were inspiring and enjoyed by all who attended in the morning. The Kuehn Conservation Area has a gorgeous prairie area and wonderful quiet paths to walk on. It is a great place to enjoy and celebrate nature. To find out more about future programs they offer (they recently had an event where you could hand feed hummingbirds!) you can check out their page here or here and connect with them on Facebook here.
Cameras for Conservancy member Kristie Burns was on hand to document the event for Dallas County Conservation Board. Some of our favorite photos are below…
Cameras for Conservancy loves to help spread the word about great work other organizations are doing and S.O.A.R is one of those organizations. According to the S.O.A.R website, “Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1999 dedicated to saving our avian resources through raptor rehabilitation, education, and research. SOAR maintains all necessary US Fish & Wildlife Service and Iowa DNR permits to provide the rehabilitation and education.”
Cameras for Conservancy member John Ryan was on hand to document the event for them and donated his photos to S.O.A.R. Here are some of our favorites below. He says that many rehabilitated raptors were released back into the wild during the event including an owl, two kestrels, red tailed hawk, and juvenile bald eagle.
Cameras for Conservancy members had a good showing at the Iowa State Fair this year! Members Melissa Cory, Kristie Burns, and Shandy Mikkelsen had three photos exhibited, John Ryan had one photo exhibited, and Brett Stewart had one photo exhibited. Melissa Cory won an honorable mention for her amazing photo of a steam engine. Kristie Burns won an honorable mention for her photo of a heron and it’s reflection. Shandy Mikkelsen won an honorable mention for her photo of an elephant.
Kristie Burns also took home the Best of Show award for her photo “When She Thought No-one was Looking” and had her photo displayed on the front of the Iowa State Fair 2019 Photo Salon Book. She says of her award, “The best part is that the photo was taken during one of our charity photo shoots at Hercules Haven so they also get to enjoy their rescue horse, Ginger, being on the cover of the book.”
Shandy Mikkelsen took home the Best of Black and White award.
Congratulations to all of our amazing Cameras for Conservancy members!
Cameras for Conservancy Member Kristie Burns donated a photo of a flamingo mother and chick to the silent auction and served as the official photographer at the Gala fundraiser for Conservation Fusion last weekend that helped raise money for a new school and wildlife education in Madagascar!
Conservation Fusion is doing amazing work with the community there. Their first school has been a great success in helping many children receive an education they would not receive otherwise. In addition, they have educated both the children and the community on wildlife conservation (lemurs and other animals) in Madagascar.
President, Susie Louis says of the fundraiser, “WE DID IT! Thanks to all who attended the gala- who donated online, who sent beautiful, encouraging texts, who have been there with us along this journey! We raised $14,014!!! And I leave MONDAY to join the team and finish building DREAM School 2.0!!!!! Your donations are going directly to this project!!! Thank you, thank you, thank YOU!”
Cameras for Conservancy is both humbled and thankful to have been a small part of this effort. You can see the photos we took of the gala on their Facebook page here or learn more about Conservation Fusion on their website here.
From July 1st, 2019
Cameras for Conservancy Member, Melissa Cory writes, “It’s been fairly quite with most of the ‘cats’ being in the Chrysalis stage now. So far I have not lost any of them. However, we are still not out of the woods yet. I have a total of 18 Chrysalis’ now.
The first 11 ‘cats’ are getting ready to emerge. I expect butterflies anytime now at the latest tomorrow. My second set which included eggs that I and my granddaughter found are now in the Chrysalis stage. The last two forming over this past evening.
One of our Florida members, Chris Gutierrez, woke up before sunrise last month to help document an important event in Florida
He says this about the event, “The turtle walk was a success! All together we checked nearly 150 nests, we dugout 2 nests (nests get dugout 3 days after hatching to record data on the eggs and check for any stragglers) and there were two hatchlings we were able to rescue!
We also checked up on the Snowy Plover nests which SCCF also monitors.. so I was able to photograph them as well.. I also focused a lot on the volunteers and photographing them doing their work. All together I say it was very successful!”
A big thank you to Chris who provided photo documentation services to SCCF for free and to our blog to help highlight awareness of these efforts in Florida. This is what Cameras for Conservancy is all about! Even one person can make a difference!
Are you working on a conservation project or want to feature someone else who has been working in conservation? Blog posts, articles, documentaries, photo essays, series stories, and more are all welcome! Please submit articles and photos to: CamerasforConservancy@gmail.com
By Melissa Cory
It’s that time of year again when the butterflies return and the flowers are blooming. Including a nice patch of milkweed that is growing in my yard. On June 7th, 2019 2 days ago I started noticing some little holes in the milkweed leaves. That usually means something (hopefully Monarch caterpillars) are eating them for nourishment. I took the time to carefully pull back the leaves searching for the little gems and sure enough, I found SEVEN!
I carefully broke off the Milkweed leaf and brought them into the house and put them in containers that I had previously purchased from the pet store. This helps protect the very small caterpillars from birds and other predators and gives them Plenty of air and sunlight. I put a new milkweed leaf in daily after cleaning the container out as caterpillars do poop a lot! As they get bigger I will add a nice stick for them to crawl on as well. After they grow they make their way to the top of the lid, spin their silk and turn into a chrysalis and eventually, if all goes well, into a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
I hope you follow us on our journey although I must warn you, there are many things that can harm the process. Tachinid flies have been the main nemesis for us around my house. I have lost many caterpillars due to these pesky flies. When the Monarchs are eggs the Tachinid fly will lay their eggs on the Monarch egg and it will grow inside the caterpillar and eventually kill the caterpillar. So the process is not always a success, but I have had several success’. This is my third year helping Monarch caterpillars around my yard and I thought it would be fun to share the process with you all. I have not seen a lot of the flies around right now so I hope these little ones will survive. Stay tuned for updates!