[Jess Hazen and family... the senior photos are online at the bottom of the web site, or here... http://www.natureofthewild.com/JessHazen/index.htm]

[Educators Note: If use Monarch Butterflies to teach about metamorphosis  or butterflies this is an excellent time to start preparing for another part of the lesson... the only food that the caterpillars can eat is it's host plant, the milkweed. These plants are dispersing seeds right now so it is a great time to collect seeds for a spring project. You can germinate the seeds in class in the spring, or pass them out to students to grow at home, or set aside a little area of the school grounds for planting. You might even think about starting a native plant section. And if you plant it there is a good chance that eventually the butterflies will visit and lay eggs. If you need help finding or identifying the seeds let me know and I will give you a hand.]

[Educators Note: There is a great resource about wildlife migrations at http://www.learner.org/jnorth  The title, Journey North, is a little misleading as they are currently providing coverage of fall migrations. For example you can go to http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/fall2005.html?layers=monarch_roost and see an interactive map of dated roost sites of Monarch Butterflies which gives you an idea of how the migration is progressing to the wintering sites in Mexico. There is another project going on where ultra light planes accompany a small flock of whooping cranes as they migrate. You can see their daily progress on map... They started in Wisconsin on October 14 and are in Morgan County, Indiana today.
There map is here... http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/u-z/whoopingcrane_map110205.jpg]

The season is marching on. Last week we had a couple of very hard frosts. Above are two photos of New England Asters. The first was taken in mid September, the second one in the last week. The weather has actually warmed up again but immediately around me many of the leaves are already down. Asters and goldenrod heads were all encased in frost. When I looked very close at the stems I could see that a lot of them had tiny seeds stuck to them.

Not all of the birds are migrating away from this area, some are actually coming to us. Yesterday I saw the first snow bunting of the year. These are beautiful little birds that actually come down here to over winter from the arctic. They have more white on them than any other song bird. Soon there will be small flocks of them along the fields and roads and when they fly they all flash their white wing patches and it seems as if a snow flurry is flying up into the air.

Charles St. Charles III

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