Leila S. Case: How do we love the plants? Let’s count the flying insects

Published 2:23 pm Sunday, August 11, 2019

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I’ve discussed pollinators in this space previously, beginning with the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, an effort to increase the declining population of the Monarch butterfly and other butterflies indigenous to our area for the past five years. The Trail has been very successful spreading from the Carter’s home garden to more than 800 gardens throughout the U.S., Japan, and Canada because of the efforts of Rosalynn Carter and Annette Wise, trail founders.

Today, I’m going to let you in on another conservation project called the Great Georgia Pollinator census in which you can participate. I’m not very fond of flying insects but they’re important to our environment and conservation because they help our flowers and vegetables pollinate. And now UGA wants us to count them.

As I understand, the Great Georgia Pollinator Census is an historical initiative where Georgians will record the numbers and types of pollinators that populate our state during late summer. You do not have to be an entomologist to be part of this project. The census was designed for individuals, families, garden clubs, school groups, and friends that all Georgians can participate. Members of the Council of Safety of the Daughters of the American Revolution through the Georgia Society, DAR is taking part in this conservation effort. And I hope you will, too.

So, this is how you can. And all it will take is 15 minutes of your time on Saturday, Aug. 24 or Sunday, Aug. 25, and what you need to do is record the various insect categories that light on a favorite pollinator plant from your garden that shows insect activity for counting in these categories: bumble bees, small bees, butterflies, carpenter bees, honey bees, wasps, flies, and other insects. But no hummingbirds.

How can you do the counts? A page on the Greater Georgia Pollinator Census web site https://GGaPC.org will be open for you to upload your counts and then click to submit.

Please join me in this experience. It’s beneficial, and besides it sounds like fun — sitting in the out of doors for only 15 minutes to watch and record the insects that fly in! Happy counting.

Elsewhere, my friend Janet Siders spent most of the summer with her grandchildren in New Jersey that included attending her granddaughter’s eighth-grade social and grandson’s high school graduation as well as celebrating his 18th birthday. They traveled to Denver to reunite with family Janet says she hadn’t seen in 50 years and to celebrate her 72nd birthday that continued in N.J., at a special birthday dinner with her best friend and college roommate. She said while in N.J., they enjoyed day trips to the beach less than an hour away, visiting a wild bird reserve, water parks, and the Newark museum for the Black Film Festival and a crab fest in Baltimore. Janet has more travel plans coming up when she and her family visit Paris in November.

Meanwhile, Mary Beth Rogers had a memorable vacation that was educational, interesting, and most of all — entertaining. She and friends Karen Godfrey of Jasper, Luanne Lowe Rigsby of Athens joined Judy and Ron Nelson in Anchorage, Alaska, where they were guests at their home that offers a beautiful view of the water and mountains. The couple took them on sightseeing excursions in Anchorage and also treated them to some delicious home-cooked meals. The four ladies then boarded a Princess Line ship for an Alaskan cruise from Whittier to Vancouver, British Columbia, that Mary Beth says was fantastic. The ports of call included Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. Only a select few ships are allowed into Glacier Bay, and Mary Beth says they were fortunate theirs was allowed because visiting Glacier National Park was awesome. Other highlights included whale watching, other wildlife native to the state like otters, big bears, and huge eagles. Their cruise concluded in Vancouver where they spent a day of sightseeing throughout the city. Mary Beth, an accomplished artist, hopefully will paint some of the breathtaking scenery she photographed.

And recently home from Vancouver, British Columbia are Rick and Genie Powell. Get well wishes to Larry Dillard, and happy birthday to Kent Sole.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.