September 9, 2016

2016-17 Rotary Theme

This Friday’s Program:
On Friday, September 16th, our Featured Speaker will be Meredith Hyland of Kokatat, one of Arcata’s great business successes!

RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone
October 18-26 – Opportunity to travel to Nigeria to help fight polio and attend the West Africa Project Fair! Check your email for details, or contact Howard Tours in Oakland (800-475-2260).
October 23 – Stetsons, Steaks, and Spurs – a Rotary Foundation Fandango! At The Lodge, 445 Herrick Avenue, Eureka. No-host cocktails at 2 pm, cook-your-own-steak at 3 pm. Check your email for your personal invitation!
November 17A Taste of the Holidays! Our Fall Fundraiser returns to help you kick off another festive season !
March 11, 2017 – The Rotary Club of Arcata Spring Fundraiser! Put it on your calendar now (or as soon as you purchase a 2017 calendar)!
May 12-14, 2017 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada

Sunrise Moments

  • President Susan informed us that Past President Howard Stauffer was recently in France! She has some photos that she will share once Howard is here to provide detailed descriptions.
  • We were expecting a good Sunriser turnout for the “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention walk scheduled for the following Sunday. [Editor’s note: There was indeed strong support from the RCAS family. Watch for photos and credits in next week’s Spirit!]
  • A monthly newsletter called the “Kid Scoop News” will be included in our Backpacks for Kids program when it restarts later this month. Lisa Hemphill has been the driving force behind this addition since she discovered the publication at the District Conference in May. But it wasn’t as easy as it could have been, according to John Gullam – adding any items to the food packages requires approvals at several bureaucratic levels. However, Lisa patiently made all the calls, and got the thumbs-up before the program’s restart. Thank you, Lisa!!
  • President Susan reminded us that this Rotary Year is dedicated to increasing membership. We are hoping to add 17 new Sunrisers this year, so please be on the lookout for people you would like to have alongside you as you work on our projects and fundraisers. The video below features John Germ, the current President of Rotary International, asking you to make membership a priority:

  • John Gullam announced that the World Community Service Committee has donated $100 to a woman who is on her way to La Trinidad, the site of the project in Costa Rica that we are co-sponsoring with the Arcata Noon Rotary, the Rotary Club Rotario de San Jose Noreste (in Costa Rica), and the North Bay Rotaract Club. Erica will be looking at potential microcredit loan recipients in the area, and she will also be looking into other needs that the community has identified.
  • President Susan let us know about a couple of changes to this year’s Taste of the Holidays. First, we plan to add about five additional vendors, so if you know of a food or beverage producer who could benefit from the additional exposure, please let a member of the TOTH Committee know. Also new this year is an increase in the ticket price, from $25 to $30.
  • Terri Clark relayed the sad news that our community lost Nyle Henderson. Nyle served twice as the President of the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka, and he was a champion of Project Share Life, which he and his wife Diane founded in 1997 following the death of their son Steven. Many of us were tested and listed on the Bone Marrow Registry as a result of their efforts. Our condolences to Diane and their family – Nyle was a great Rotarian, and a wonderful person. We will miss him greatly.

About The Arcata Native Plant & Wildlife Garden

Our Featured Speaker was Peter Haggard, a former member of the HSU faculty. Peter is the author of “Insects of the Pacific Northwest” and he was one of the founders of the Arcata Native Plant and Wildlife Garden, which is a little-known part of the Arcata Community Center complex. The garden occupies a triangular section of the hill just to the west of HealthSport, and from its founding in 1999, it has been cared for by members of the California Native Plant Society, North Coast Chapter (CNPS-NCC), of which Pete is a member.

Peter Haggard
Peter Haggard

He said that he has lived in a lot of places, and he really likes Arcata. His passion for native species stems from his belief that “what makes places special is what’s there to begin with”. Unfortunately, as a community grows, many native plants and animals are displaced. The garden is “a place in the middle of Arcata where we can highlight” these species.

Peter told us about many of the plants and animals that inhabit the steep slopes of the garden:

  • Beach Pine (pinus contorta) – Also known as shore pine, this is a tree that was part of the early planting. Beach pines and other woody plants served to establish a “backbone” for the garden.
  • Blue Blossom (ceanothus thryrsiflorus) – These provide lots of color in the spring, and they provide food for butterflies and bees.
  • Manzanita (arctostaphylos) – Pete said that this “wonderful plant” blooms as early as December in some seasons. It provides nectar for hummingbirds during the winter, and it is also a source of pollen for bees.
  • Silk Tassel (garryia elliptica) – This plant also blooms in winter, and the tassels that cover it are the flowers of the male plant. These plants provide a great deal of color in the garden.
  • Bush Monkey Flower (mimulus aurantiacus) – “This is a semi-woody plant,” Pete told us, “and the nice thing about the monkey flower is that it blooms from spring until fall.” It’s attractive to humans, and it provides nectar and pollen for various insects.
  • Tufted Hair Grass (deschampsia cespitosa) – This is one of the most beautiful grasses found in Humboldt County, and CPNS members were able to introduce this and other plants once the denser plants were established. Hair grass grows all along the bay, and it turns to a beautiful golden color in the fall. When the rains start, it turns green again.
  • Large-Leafed Lupine (lupinus polyphyllus) – The CPNS tried to add native plants that would provide color throughout the summer. This species of lupine was a great choice, as it sports beautiful flower-covered spikes.
  • Lily (Lilium pardalinum) – The California Tiger Lily provides beautiful color, but Pete noted, “I wish I could say that it is well-established at the garden, but gophers like to eat the bulbs, deer love to eat the parts [above ground], and often people cut the flowers or pull the whole thing out.”
  • Beach Strawberry (fragaria chiloensis) – This plant serves as the ground cover for much of the lower part of the garden. Pete said that it is very aggressive and it takes over the area.
  • Woodland Strawberry (fragaria vesca) – The drier parts of the garden were where the CPNS members planted these plants. The two varieties of strawberry do not compete with one another.
  • California Aster (symphyotrichum chilense) – Pete told us that by late fall, most plants have stopped blooming. So when this native aster comes on during that period, it provides needed food for butterflies and bees. It continues to bloom until frost arrives.

Peter retired in 2006, and by then the woody landscape was established. So the garden was ready for the herbaceous landscape to be planted. This allowed food and shelter for diverse wildlife to begin to inhabit the area. Among the species now found at the garden are:

  • Garter Snakes (thamnophis elegans) – Pete noted that not everyone loves snakes, but he showed a photo of a “beautiful garter snake”. He said that this is the one animal in the garden that people kill, but the snakes are often able to hide in the numerous gopher holes there.
  • Alligator Lizards (elgaria coerulea) – These reptiles also use the gopher holes as hiding places, and they are plentiful in the garden.
  • Buckeye (junonia coenia) – Buckeye butterflies are also plentiful – “Last year, we had hundreds of them,” Pete said. This year has been a little cooler, so they moved to warmer areas for now.
  • Crab Spider (misumenia vatia) – Local crab spiders are generally white, and they are small, solitary creatures. Depending on the flowers where they are hunting, they can turn yellow to camouflage themselves.
  • Field Crescent Butterfly (phyciodes campestris) – “To attract butterflies,” Pete said, “it’s important to know what flowers the female lays her eggs on.” The field crescent uses asters for this. “If the aster isn’t there,” he told us, “she can’t reproduce.” Since there is a lot of asters at the garden, there are also quite a few field crescents.
  • Anise Swallowtail Butterfly (palipo zelicaon) – We learned that this is “one of the few swallowtails that we have on the coast here”. To attract these butterflies, Pete said that the CPNS made sure to plant angelica (angelica hendersonii) in the garden.
  • Texas Sweat Bee (agapostemon texanus) – Pete said that he notices a lot of small holes in the ground, and his investigation led to an interest in native bees, including this solitude-seeking bee. To accommodate these and other ground-dwelling bees, Pete said that he used a tree-trimmer to break up the compressed soil around the garden, and the number of bees increased greatly, since they were better able to create nests.
  • Leaf Cutter Bee (megachile perihirta) – While most bees collect pollen on their legs, the leaf cutter collects it with the long hairs on its belly. The female leaf cutter uses the leaves to protect her eggs and to provide a food cache for the larvae after hatching.
  • Western Toad (anaxyerus (bufo) boreas) – This reptile is also known as the Spike Toad. Pete said that he and his wife had a spike toad living in their home garden for three years. It made its home under a rock, and they could tap on the rock during the summer, and the toad would come out to investigate. They would drop insects as treats for him. He would also eat slugs, so Pete said, “A toad is a great critter to have in your garden.” He hopes to introduce these toads to the Arcata Garden.

For more information on the Arcata Native Plant and Wildlife Garden, please visit the California Native Plant Society website by clicking on this sentence.

Special Daze

  • Romi Hitchcock Tinseth’s birthday was August 4th, and when asked how it went and what she did, her reply was … “I have absolutely no idea. But I’m sure it was great.” Terri Clark reminded her that she was working on a rental (?).
  • Steve McHaney was in Susanville on August 31st, which was his birthday, working on a project. But on his drive back, he visited with his father and his brother, and he got home late, but his wife Patty had a birthday dinner waiting for him.
  • For their anniversary on September 1st, Charlie Jordan and Mark Ritz went to the Olympic Peninsula (?) and hiked. “There was no internet,” she said, “and no cell phones – it was great!”
  • Carol and Steven Vander Meer celebrated their anniversary on September 4th with her in-laws. She said that it was a lovely time, and they went to Brick and Fire for dinner.
  • Steve McHaney got up again, since he and Patty celebrated their anniversary on September 7th. Wait! “It was actually on July 9th,” Steve told us. “The beauty of this one was that I didn’t have to do any planning, because my wife’s cousin got married on July 9th, and we had a hell of a big party!”
  • Last Friday (September 9th) was the 44th anniversary of Karen and Steve Burgesser, so it was a work in progress as we met.
  • Jessica McKnight and James Hitchcock celebrated their anniversary last month, and she reminded us that they were married on 8/7/10. She thought about it, and noticed that she had Wednesday the 10th off … hmmm. She figured they would have dinner that evening – perfect! So Jessica tells James, but he has other plans. She said to him, “It’s the 10th – it’s an important night!” So they were set, at least until Romi texted James on Sunday the 7th, “Happy Anniversary!” He corrected her, saying that it’s on the 10th, so she proceeded to change it on her calendar. Two days later, they remembered that Romi was right after all.