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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
Glenelm

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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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Volunteer Gardeners & Plants Needed for Elmwood Cemetery

Calling all gardeners! The Elmwood Cemetery needs volunteers to help maintain the flower beds over the summer. Volunteers are also needed for edging markers. If you are able to help, please phone Rhonda at 204-667-3843 or email office@elmcem.ca.

If you are unable to volunteer your time, you can also help by donating plants or money towards a new butterfly garden. Some plants suggestions that we are looking for in the butterfly garden are milkweed, cone flowers, verbena, salvia, phlox, black eyed Susan, coreopsis, sedum, liatris, or Shasta daisies. 

Donations may be dropped off at the cemetery office Monday to Friday 9:00-4:30. Or they can be dropped off at 28 Leslie Ave (the home of our GeNA-Elmwood Cemetery liaison volunteer). Plants can be left on the front deck and monetary donations can be dropped into the mail slot on the front door. Please write “butterfly garden” on the envelope.

Thank you for supporting our beautiful cemetery!

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History Talk in Elmwood Cemetery – Sunday June 9th

GeNA is partnering with the North East Winnipeg Historical Society for a “sitting tour” at Elmwood Cemetery.

The event is at 1pm in section 6A (middle of the cemetery) of the historic cemetery which gave its name to the surrounding area.  Opening in 1902, it is the oldest non-denominational cemetery in western Canada.  We will discuss approx. 48 prominent people/families.  Bring your lawn chair, blanket, umbrella, etc.  There will be flag markers on the gravesites, so you can wander to view during or after the tour.  The ground is uneven so proper walking shoes are recommended.

There will be free refreshments courtesy of GeNA!

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