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Beautiful Butterflies of Glenelm

A new wildlife dispatch courtesy of Glenelm resident Dr. Richard Staniforth. Photo above: Monarch taking nectar from red clover.

The aristocracy comes to Glenelm each summer.

Yes, each summer our neighbourhood is visited by a Lady, an Admiral, and even the Monarch herself. They come disguised as butterflies; the Red Admiral, Painted Lady and the famous Monarch. We are honoured that such celebrities come from so far away to visit our yards and flower gardens. And they do come from a long way away!

Each spring, the Painted Lady and Red Admiral fly from southern Texas and Central America, the Monarch flies from Mexico and California to add colour and interest to our flower borders. The early arrivals show the wear and tear of their journeys with faded, and often tattered wings. How many storms and chases by birds would they encounter before they get here? Who knows! It must be worth the hazard because they keep coming north in the spring and returning south again each fall. None would survive the winter if they were to stay! Other species of butterflies may overwinter here either as an egg, caterpillar, pupa or even as a hibernating adult, but not our aristocrats! Painted Ladies show massive numbers of immigrants in certain years (e.g. 2017) when 3500 were recorded in southeast Manitoba, as opposed to 2015 when the number was just six! This year (2019) was also a good Painted Lady year. We are fortunate to have seven Ladies on our Zinnias this afternoon (September 14).

Photo above: Red Admiral, sunbathing on Richard’s pant leg.

It is always surprising to read that these migrant butterflies come all the way here to lay their eggs on some of the most unpalatable plants! While the adult butterflies love the nectar from our garden and wild flowers, such as Purple cone flowers, Joe-pye weed, Scabious, Zinnias, Asters and many other colorful or fragrant species; their caterpillars prefer the leaves of thistles (Painted Lady), stinging nettles (Red Admirals) or Milkweed (Monarchs).

Photo above: Painted Lady taking nectar from garden scabious.

Hopefully we are able to enjoy these aerial aristocrats as they visit our yards in our brief summers for years to come.

Richard Staniforth

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Save the Date for a Pumpkin Parade on Nov 1

If it seems early to be thinking about Halloween, you’d be right! But the turning leaves have us scheming up fun for all our trick-or-treaters. We hope you’ve all had good time growing your pumpkin kits from our Sweets & Seeds event back in the Spring. We can’t wait to see how you show them off for this year’s Halloween festivities!

On November 1, bring your pumpkin to the Big Red Church (127 Cobourg) for this year’s first-ever Glenelm Pumpkin Parade (learn more about our inspiration here)!

It will be a chance for neighbours to admire all the creative gourds from across the community. And participants will be entered into a draw for some cool “I tree Glenelm” stuff.

As a bonus, GeNA will take care of all the leftover jack o’lanterns by donating them to Aurora Farms where they will become food for their animals.

Stay tuned for more details!

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Connect with your community at the Glenelm Picnic in the Park – this Sunday!

It’s one of our favourite events of the year: the annual Glenelm Picnic in the Park! Come and meet neighbours old and new, hear talented local musicals acts, and enjoy fun games and activities for all ages. Hope to see you there!   When: This Sunday, September 8th, 4:30-6:30pm Where: Roxy (Elmwood) Park, 380 Henderson Hwy   Please bring:

  • Your own picnic supper & something to sit on
  • Something sweet to share at the dessert potluck table
  • A willingness to meet new neighbours and have fun!

Park bathrooms will be open.

In case of rain, the picnic will move indoors to the Big Red Church, 127 Cobourg Ave (relocation will be announced by email, website & Facebook).

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