New Junior Naturalists pose at the newly installed Native Plant Garden sign with experienced guide Laura Drake (second from left) after her first Native Plant Garden tour. Photo courtesy of Patrick Daugherty

New Junior Naturalists pose at the newly installed Native Plant Garden sign with experienced guide Laura Drake (second from left) after her first Native Plant Garden tour. Photo courtesy of Patrick Daugherty

Surprises abound in the Native Plant Garden

The next Junior Naturalist Program is scheduled for May 19.

  • Wednesday, May 2, 2018 11:40am
  • Life

Lots of wildlife action, and newly opening blossoms every day, reward visitors to the Native Plant Garden in Mercerdale Park this spring.

Binoculars came into play on April 28, when Seattle Audubon Society Master Birder Linda Anchondo heard a cacophony of sounds in the woods adjacent to the Skate Park. A pair of Brown Creepers were taking advantage of a break in the rain.

The tiny birds’ distinct behavior—flittering up one tree trunk and on to the next—led to identification and viewing as the bird circumnavigated the trunks. Children and adults took turns viewing the birds through the lenses during the first Junior Naturalist Tour of the area.

Leading the group to the Shore Pine she had “adopted,” Junior Naturalist tour leader, six year old Laura Drake, explained what differentiates it from all other pines (spoiler alert—it’s the only one with just two needles coming out of each cluster).

Respect for native plants and wildlife was an important message. For example, she read tour participants the sign she had made to alert visitors to the reason not to pick the blossoms of the Trillium she had “adopted” (because the plant needs their nourishment for the next years’ growth).

After sharing her knowledge about other native plants, she pointed out a male Anna’s Hummingbird perched at the top of “his” tree. Over a dozen participants, including families with children and interested passers-by, enjoyed Laura’s tour, which concluded as she offered celebratory cookies to participants.

The Junior Naturalist Program is open to children ages six to 10. The next program is May 19 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. For registration and more information: www.protectMIparks.org or email protectMIparsk@gmail.com.

More in Life

Mercer Island Preschool Association’s Circus will return on April 27

Activities include bounce houses, face painting and of course, a dunk tank.

Libraries are places of connection and community pride | Library column

Written by Lisa Rosenblum, the director of the King County Library System.

Students embark

Exchange program underway for Island, sister city.

125 sack lunches were to the Safe Parking Program at the Lake Washington Methodist Church, Sophia Way, The Together Center, and to the residents of Camp Unity and Safe Parking at St. Jude’s. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
St. Jude’s Service Day Program helps combat poverty

The annual service day helps organizations who help Eastside communities experiencing poverty and abuse.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo 
                                Tom Kofler helps build the tiny house at Mercer Island United Methodist Church.
A response to homelessness: United Methodist Church builds a Tiny House for the homeless

The church will build the Tiny House during the month of April.

Mercer Islanders make pilgrimage to Israel

Chaplain Greg Asimakoupoulos and two Covenant Shores residents over 90 years old made the trip.

Photo courtesy of Tsering Yuthok Short 
                                Three Boy Scouts from Troop 457 earned Eagle Scout. They are, from left, R. Grady Short, Cosmo K. Neames and Mark O. Mangino.
Three Islanders make Eagle Scout rank

Mark Oliver Mangino, Cosmo Kemuel Neames and Renzin Grady Yuthok Short received… Continue reading

Growing HOSA chapter at MIHS recognized

Seven students won awards in a statewide competition.

MIHS business students earn state honors

Many advanced to the international competition.

Most Read