Yesterday was a gorgeous late summer day, the kind with clear blue sky and clouds so clearly defined that you could almost reach up and pluck one right out of the sky. We were honored on this golden day to present once again at the Fulton County “Monarchs and More” event just north of Pettisville at a wetland/prairie owned by Ed Nofziger.
“Monarchs and More” is sponsored by Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District and Ed and Carol Nofziger. Presenters yesterday included Pat Hayes, Cheryl Rice, Diane Myers, Black Swamp Raptor Rehab, The Quarry Farm, and Pheasants For Ever. Attendees got to visit with a bald eagle and a red-tailed hawk, tag and release monarch butterflies, learn about raingardens, and check aquatic inhabitants.
Ed Nofziger is a generous, adventurous man who went out on a limb years ago and enrolled some of his acreage in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=copr&topic=crp in order to establish a pollutant-sponging natural area along State Route 2. Although CRP enrollees do benefit financially from the program, this is still a step from the norm for many farmers. But families and folk from throughout Northwest Ohio benefit from Nofziger’s leap of faith, as do school groups who participate in various science excursions to his property on State Route 2. The county commissioners encourage the annual “Monarchs and More” open house.
Thanks, Ed. And Amanda. And everyone who held a crayfish, dragonfly nymph and/or a leech at our station. Before you say, “ew”, did you know that only 10% of leeches actually suck blood, and that dragonflies continually eat their weight in mosquitoes, even as larva growing up in wetlands and streams? So there.
Videographer Steve Lauber of Lauber Digital captured great footage of the afternoon.