Wednesday February 24th – Build a Caterpillar-rearing Cage

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A brilliant blue-sky day to you!

Looking forward to more monarch butterflies this summer? Besides planting more milkweed, you can protect those caterpillars.
Join members to create your own caterpillar-rearing cage to rescue/rear monarchs and other butterflies.

Wednesday February 24th – Build a Caterpillar-rearing Cage
6:30 pm socialize, 7:00 pm “hands-on” workshop
Meet at Hartley Nature Center.

Choice of two types of cages. Bring your own materials & tools as per the instructions below.
Possible fund-raiser: extra materials may be available to build more cages to sell at the Duluth Garden Flower Society plant sale in May!

Option #1: This caterpillar-rearing cage was cut down to about 14″ high. The jar inside has tin-foil over it (so caterpillars don’t fall in), holding one or more florists picks with fresh host plant foliage in place. Top and bottom are old cake pans and sides are wire mesh. Very easily disassembled for photography and cleaning. Easy to add a stick for caterpillars to pupate on, though they will happily use the top pan and the stems of the host plant, too.unnamed-1
Caterpillar rearing

Option #2: From Monarch Network Teachers’ Workshop.
1. You need a 3 prong tomato cage–turn it upside down and make sure it sets level. Buy these at a hardware store or use an old one.
2. Get 5 gallon paint strainers–they come two to a package for approx. $3.
3. Buy inexpensive aluminum pizza pans.
4. You will need a good pair of bolt clippers or something that can cut the wire prongs that go into the ground on the tomato cage.
Trim the tomato cage prongs so that when you bend them they will meet in the center of the narrow end of the cage. Slip the paint strainer over and set the cage in an aluminum pizza pan–it will fit snuggly. Now you are ready to add your plants and caterpillars. You can put paper towels in the bottom to catch frass. It’s easy to clean.unnamed

You can slip off the cover and wash between broods. The caterpillars have plenty of space to pupate and emerge in excellent condition.

Idea from Cathy: Without the pizza pan on the bottom, use landscape staples to fasten this cage over milkweed plant outside to protect caterpillars. (Problem = no butterflies can access the plant inside.)

Suggestion from Dan Schutte: I think that suspending pieces of wood across the wires that are on the tomato cages would be a good idea, as a lot of the larva may wind up making their chrysalis on those, and then you can remove them, to a more stable, safe place as they are developing.

More info on the example above, plus other ideas:

General info on caterpillar-rearing from Monarch Watch:

Mark your calendars for future meetings:

Wednesday March 23 – Plants (rare and common) and native plant communities of Park Point/Minnesota Point.

Presenter: Rebecca Holmstrom, Minnesota Biological Survey, Ecological and Water Resources, MN DNR

Wednesday April 27 – Pollinator Revival, a grassroots initiative to protect pollinators from further decline by educating retailers and stopping the sale or use of pesticides known to be harmful to bees and other beneficial insects.
Presenters: Pollinator Revival co-founders, Marilyn D. Jones and Julia Vanatta; both are Wild Ones members from the Twin Cities area.
Volunteer opportunities:

Rachael Olesiak, naturalist at the Cloquet Forestry Center, would like help with their Spring camp held Thurs. March 24 & Mon. March 28. The age of kids is 1st-6th grade and the objective was to teach them how to plant seeds and then send them home with seeds to start their own gardens. Dan Schutte, Wild Ones member, plans to supply seeds & seedlings, and planting materials. A few WO members have already volunteered. Please reply to this email if interested or for more info. A future goal is to create a pollinator garden around the administrative building this summer.

1st Annual Duluth Monarch Festival on Sat. May 21 – 12-4PM @ the Coppertop Church: larva monitoring/citizen science presentations, kids’ activities, free milkweed seeds, butterfly items for sale, and more. Guest speaker is Dr. Karen Oberhauser – Monarch Lab, U of Minn.
Sponsored by Duluth Monarch Buddies, Wild Ones – Arrowhead Chapter & other groups. Free admission!
Volunteer to sell the milkweed & other pollinator plants that will be for sale. Please reply to this email if interested.

Larry Weber “In a Patch of Goldenrods” Wed. Jan 27th

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Larry Weber

Larry Weber

Weds. January 27 @ Hartley Nature Center – Larry Weber presents “In a Patch of Goldenrods”

6:30 pm – Socializing and snacking

7:00 pm – Presentation begins

Larry has spent extensive time over the past 2 years observing the amazing myriad of insects and spiders that make use of the many species of native goldenrod plants commonly found along area roadsides, mixed in with a variety of non-native plants like tansy that host very few critters. He has identified over 100 insect and spider species using the goldenrod and says “it is just plain interesting!”

Larry Weber is a retired science teacher and a talented naturalist who captivates with his enthusiasm and energy. Weber is the author of Backyard Almanac (1995), Butterflies of New England (2002), Spiders of the Northwoods (2002), and Butterflies of the Northwoods (2006). He also co-authored Fascinating Fungi of the Northwoods (2006). His awards include the Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year in 1993 and the National Biology Teacher Association’s Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year for 1998.

TUESDAY Dec. 8 – Wild Ones Hibernation Resistance Get Together

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

TUESDAY Dec. 8 – Wild Ones Hibernation Resistance Get Together. This will be a potluck party at Cathy and Kirby Wood’s home on a TUESDAY evening from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. An opportunity to eat and socialize with fellow native plant enthusiasts. Members only event, spouses welcome. Also start thinking of ideas for 2016 program topics, speakers and field trips to share when we end the evening with a little brainstorming.

RSVP by Sat. Dec. 5: (mention what food item you plan to bring)Banner_Ken1


Weds. January 27 @ Hartley Nature Center – Larry Weber presents “In a Patch of Goldenrods

November Meeting – Botanical Painting with Tanya Beyer

Posted by & filed under Meetings.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Hartley Nature Center – Botanical Painting, presented by artist Tanya Beyer

6:00 Meeting (open to all!) to start making plans for 2016 chapter officers and other leadership positions (Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Ave., Duluth)

6:30 Socializing and snacking

7:00 Presentation begins

Tanya will present a program using a photo series mixed with artistic treatment of significant trees from northern MN and share folklore about those trees as well as trees found just to our south that may be start appearing in northern MN where soil types allow as climate change proceeds (black walnut, northern prickly ash, hackberry, honey locust, shagbark hickory, American elm…). Tanya paints upper Midtreewestern flora, birds & landscapes in watercolor or mixed media. She has a degree in English from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada (now Western University) and teach watercolor at Pineapple Arts Center in Duluth. Examples of her work can be seen at


(If you would like to bring some of your own sketching paper and pencils feel free to do so as this presentation may get your fingers itching to do some drawing too.)

Weds. Oct. 21 – Piping Plover Program with Kris Eilers

Posted by & filed under Meetings.

Weds. Oct. 21 – Piping Plover Program, presented by Kris Eilers, project manager at St. Louis River Alliance.

1024px-Charadrius-melodus-004_editReminder – our next Wild Ones program will be this Wednesday October 21 starting at 7:00 pm at Hartley Nature Center. Come early to visit. Doors open at 6:30. Come learn how, through restoration of native plants on Park Point and Minnesota Point and other efforts, the St. Louis River Alliance is working to bring nesting plovers back to this area.

“We are in our 3rd year of this program and have been busy doing outreach and education, monitoring the beaches along Wisconsin Point and Minnesota Point, and doing some habitat restoration. We do see piping plover from time to time, although it is extremely rare. None have stayed to nest in over 25 years. They are critically endangered in the Great Lakes.”

Wed. Sept 23 – Soil Questions Answered – John Pastor

Posted by & filed under Meetings.

Topic: everything you always wanted to know about soil as it pertains to growing native plants but were afraid to ask – or more likely just did not know you need to know. Understanding how soil is naturally formed and then affected by human alterations can make the difference between a successful native plant gardening/restoration project and a disappointing patch of weeds. Should you add fertilizer to the soil? compost? roto-till it? Come learn the answers to these questions and much more. (for a related article, check this out:

When: Wednesday September 23, doors open 6:30 for socializing and set up, 7:00 – 8:15 PM presentation + Q & A

Where: Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Ave., Duluth


Who: The presentation will be by John Pastor, who received his Ph.D. in Forestry and Soil Science in 1980 following an MS in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did post-doctoral research in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has been a Senior Research Associate at NRRI since 1984, Professor in Biology since 1996, and Director of Graduate Studies in Biology since 2000. His research and scholarly interests include the structure and function of northern ecosystems.

This presentation is free and open to the public, though non-Hartley members are encouraged to consider placing a contribution in the donation box near the front desk.

Wednesday Evening Yard Tour – Cathy & Kirby Wood

Posted by & filed under Yard Tours.

Join Wild Ones members and friends for a yard tour!


Cathy & Kirby Wood moved to this property in 2006; remodeled, restored and landscaped much of the area with native plants.
Explore rain & rock gardens, berms, terrace, grape arbor, woodland trail, raised veg. beds, fruit trees & bushes.
Refreshments provided. Comments/suggestions to improve their yard are welcome.

*bring a pail, if you want to take home balsam or spruce trees (approx. 1 ft. or more in height)

Date: Wednesday evening August 26 from 6:30 – 8 pm. (no rain date)

Address: 3700 E. Superior Street, Duluth (park on the lakeside of Superior St. – no parking sticker needed)

Directions: London Road to 36th Ave. E , take 36th to Superior St. Turn right onto Superior St.
Look for the 4th driveway from the 36th corner East on the lakeside, with the prairie boulevard.

July Field Trip – Cloquet Forestry Center Tour

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Join Wild Ones members and friends for a July Field Trip


Research Plot Technician Rachael Olesiak will guide our group on a 45-60 minute forest tour. The tour will include the history of the Cloquet Forestry Center and some of its current and long-term research projects. We will be riding in a very large wagon (seats 20 people). Since you’ll be going through the forest, please bring bug spray or wear long pants, shirts, etc.

Date: Weds. evening July 29 at 6:30 pm.

To reserve a space on the wagon, RSVP to

Interested in carpooling from Duluth? Meet at the Rose Garden parking lot at 5:45 pm.

Cloquet Forestry Center
175 University Road
Cloquet, MN 55720
Phone: 218-726-6401

I have included directions to the Center, however, University Rd (Cty. Rd. 5) . will be closed via the north until July 31. Therefore, those traveling from the north should follow University Rd (left off Big Lake Rd if coming from Hwy. 33). straight onto Cartwright and then turn right onto the Moorehead Rd. which will bring them back to University Rd. where they will take a right to enter the Center from the south end.

Questions – contact Cathy.

DGFS Plant Sale and Landscaping with Natives/Wildflower Walk – Sat. May 30!

Posted by & filed under Meetings.

EVENT #1 The annual DGFS plant sale will be on Saturday May 30 at the Duluth Rose Garden parking lot. Wild Ones will have a table of plants to sell + information to hand out. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE PLANTS (dug up spares from your yard are fine or started from seed) you can either bring them to the sale by 7:30 AM or drop them off at my house – contact me for details. And WE DO NEED PLANTS as this is is our main fund raiser for the year (and our sales table looks sad without them). Please no invasive non-natives. Though we prefer to sell mostly native plants if you have hostas or other non-invasive, non-native plants to donate I won’t say no. (this means no thanks to non-native lily-of-the-valley, snow on the mountain … pls ask me if you aren’t sure.)

IF YOU ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP AT THE SALE please let me know. The core time we need help is from 7:15 to 9:30 AM. The sale starts at 8:00 AM and usually lasts 1.5 to 2 hours.

EVENT #2 Landscaping with Native Plants and Spring Wildflower Walk – A joint program for Wild Ones, Head of the Lake Chapter of MN Master Naturalists and friends!

Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015

[10:15 AM meet at the Rose Garden Wild Ones table area as we wind up the sale if you would like to carpool.]

11:00 AM Leaning Pine Native Plants Landscaping. Meet owner Paul Hlina for tour and education about landscaping with native plants – and shop for plants!

12:30 – 2:00 PM Picnic Lunch and wild flower walk at beautiful Amnicon Falls State Park

· bring snack or lunch for picnic at the park

· Thimbleberry Trail and/or walking trail. Bring your favorite wild flower book.

Google Map to Leaning Pine Native Plants and Amnicon Falls State Park,+South+Range,+WI+54874/Amnicon+Falls+State+Park,+4279+County+Road+U,+South+Range,+WI+54874/data=!4m8!4m7!1m2!1m1!1s0x52aef83e50a6e01b:0x86167f35e28f2441!1m2!1m1!1s0x52aef6ff8cdd4e1f:0x6086c97d6cf2df57!3e0?dg=oo

Paper Making with Sue Brown – Wed April 22

Posted by & filed under Meetings.

paper making

When and Where: Wednesday April 22, 6:30 -7:00 meet and socialize, 7:00 PM program starts at Hartley Nature Center in Duluth

Who and What: Sue Brown of the Duluth Fiber Handcrafters Guild will introduce us to the exciting world of paper making. Bring 3 or 4 sheets of junk mail and go home with a sheet of hand made paper ready to be turned into a greeting card or booklet. Feel free to bring
additives for the paper, anything that can be cut up in the blender such as pine needles, berries, leaves (dry or fresh), flowers…