Earth Care Almanac

Fawn Palmer

Churchville Presbyterian Church has been a PC(USA) certified Earth Care Congregation since 2016. Our teens decorated three bluebird nestboxes three springs ago and these were installed around the cemetary. This spring in one nestbox there is a beautiful bluebird nest made of finely woven grasses with one egg (24 April, 2020). Hopefully there will be more eggs laid. The mother bluebird will brood them to hatching. Both parents will feed the baby bluebirds lots and lots of bugs. A mated bluebird pair chooses a cavity, natural made by a woodpecker last year for example, or a manmade nestbox that is adjacent to a lawn or short grass meadow which has lots of juicy bugs.  

Our congregation was founded in 1738 and the cemetary has gravestones that date back over 200 years. The cemetary lawn is filled with wild violets which are the host plant for fritillary butterflies. Fritillary caterpillars feast upon violet leaves. Before first frost, they snug down into the crowns of the wild violets, sleeping through the winter. By midspring they awaken. The chubby caterpillars eat more violet leaves, pupate, and metamorphically change into butterflies. Look for Great Spangled and Variagated Fritillaries in our cemetary! The Redbud tree's leaves are food for Henry's Elfin butterfly caterpillars. Milkweed leaves are food for the Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Our Pollinator's Garden has native plants that are larval food and/or provide nectar in flowers for bees and butterflies primarily.   

 
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