Family Programs are underway plus the Door County Bee Keeping Club will be offering a program at Crossroads at Big Creek this week. Curiously, most of these educational offerings focus on flying insects and/or temperature. In midsummer, insects can fly most of the time and the weather falls usually falls in the warm to hot range.
Insects are cold blooded and any time the temperature dips below 55 degrees, their flight muscles really don’t work. Sometimes, when temperatures are coolish, but the sun is shining, insects can bask in the sun in order to raise their body temperatures. Scientists speculate that the black marking we see on so many butterflies are an adaptation for thermoregulation. Because black absorbs heat, dark marking and dark bodies help butterflies warm up enough to fly.
Dragonflies, perhaps the most impressive of the insect flyers, have air sacs on their bodies and these apparently insulate the flight muscles. Even so, on cool days, dragonflies also sunbathe. In fact, they somehow know to position themselves parallel to dark branches or on trees so they can benefit from the heat absorbed by the plants. And if they get really cold, dragonflies shiver and vibrate to warm up their flight muscles. So they can cope with cold—which, obviously, has not been a problem lately.
But what about on hot days? When overheated, dragonflies perch on a nice cool leaf and point their rear ends directly at the sun. This way, they catch as few rays as possible, and presumably stay cool.
Hot weather can cause stress in honeybees, but these fascinating creatures have their own form of air conditioning. On hot summer days, in addition to gathering nectar, in some bees collect water….lots of water…. which they carry back to their hives. Other bees use their wings to fan vigorously so the water will cool the hive. If a hive is very warm, the bees will all crowd outside, and congregate near the hive entrance, reminding me of the way, pre-air conditioning, families wold gather on the front porch on hot days.
On Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 the Door County Bee Keeping Club brings Brian Schweitzer of Milwaukee to Crossroads to present “Beekeeping for the Bees.” He will explain how the Beepods beekeeping system improves bee populations and helps the environment. Beepod’s mission is to “to save bees” by combining the best of ancient beekeeping methodologies with modern technology to create a complete beekeeping system using an innovative top-bar beehive design. The program is open to the public. A free will offering will be taken.
Visitors to Crossroads have adapted to summer. Most of our runners are out early in the morning–a remarkably beautiful time as the rays of the sun first appear over the misty uplands and through the trees. In the afternoons, folks enjoy the deep forests of Crossroads’ Ida Bay Preserve. The trails at Ida Bay are open to the public and a small parking lot at the intersection of Canal Road and Buffalo Ridge Trail.
Crossroads at Big Creek is a donor-supported preserver welcoming learners of all ages to programs in science, hIstory and the Environment. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan Street, just east of the roundabout in Sturgeon Bay, is open noon-3:00 daily and during scheduled activities. Trails at the Crossroads Preserve, Big Creek Cove, and the Ida Bay Preserve are free and open to the public.
Wednesday, July 20
10:00 Family Program: Insect Safari
Hike into the fields and forests with collecting nest to find insects had their hiding places. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.
Thursday, July 21
10:00 Family Program: Gift of the Glaciers
Be a geology detective. Learn how the melting glaciers, which created the Door Peninsula and Lake Michigan, left behind evidence that we
still can find today. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.
Monday, July 25
10:00 Family Program: Butterflies Everywhere!
Get up close and observe the delicate beauty of these flying creatures during a catch and release hike. Nets will be provided. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.
Tuesday, July 26.
10:00 Family Program: Fantastic Flyers
Study the amazing journeys of migrating birds like hummingbirds, orioles and cranes, and then explore the wonders of insects which also make amazing flights. Meet at the Collins Learning Center. Program free and open to the public.
6:30 Program: “Beekeeping for the Bees.
The Door County Bee Keeping Club brings Brian Schweitzer of Milwaukee to Crossroads. He will explain how the Beepods beekeeping system improves bee populations and helps the environment. Beepod’s mission is to “to save bees “by combining the best of ancient beekeeping methodologies with modern technology to create a complete beekeeping system using an innovative top-bar beehive design. The program is open to the public. A free will offering will be taken.