Pollinator Scavenger Hunt

Join the Parker County Master Gardeners as we learn about the importance of conserving our native pollinators. Did you know that 75% of our crops depend on pollinating insects in order to produce our food? Did you know that 75% of our blooming plants require a pollinator to produce seeds for the next generation? Pollinating insects are absolutely vital in Parker County. SPECIAL EVENTS on May 6, 2017 at the Weatherford Library, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., AND Pollinators in the Garden at Chandor Gardens (711 W. Lee Ave., Weatherford, 76086), 9:00 a.m. to noon. On May 12, 2017 is Native Pollinator Habitats at Clark Gardens (567 Maddux Rd., Weatherford, TX 76088), 11:00 a.m. to noon.

The honeybee may be declining, but there are literally thousands of species of native insects that pollinate plants in our county. Take a quick test and see if you recognize any pollinators in this grouping of insects?

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Ants
  • Beetles

If you answered yes to each of the insects above, then you’re exactly right. An insect doesn’t have to collect pollen in order to pollinate. It simply has to have a reason to go to the center of a flower. Our most effective pollinators are actively collecting pollen and nectar to feed themselves and their offspring, but there are hundreds of pollinating insects that are simply touching the flower as they go about their business. The Pollinator Scavenger Hunt is a great way to learn about native pollinators, and a fun way to pass that information along to next generation. So pull out your phone or your camera, find a group of children, and have a scavenger hunt! Everything you need is right here in this brochure. The Pollinator Scavenger Hunt focuses on butterflies because they are safe and friendly for even the most curious children.

Butterflies can be found in butterfly gardens on any warm day. We recommend the following locations: Get Map here.

  • Aledo/Annetta Community Projects
  • Azle Central Park Demonstration Gardens
  • Clark Gardens
  • Chandor Gardens
  • Extension Demonstration Gardens
  • National Vietnam War Museum Gardens
  • Weatherford Public Library Literary Gardens
  • Willow Park Gardens

Each of these Gardens is filled with plants that thrive in our environment, including plants that specifically support our native pollinators. Most of these Gardens are Master Gardener Projects, and most are Certified Monarch Waystations. Please be careful of our public garden areas by staying on the paths as you search for insects. Download our color brochure to help identify the local pollinators here.

Rules (there are none but these are suggestions)

Pre-School Children

Young children can easily identify a butterfly based on size and color. For example, a monarch is a large, orange butterfly; and a cloudless sulfur is a small yellow one. If they can identify a size and color, then they win. If you can snap a picture for them to look at more closely, that just adds to the fun and may allow them to match it to a picture.

Young School-Age Children

Young school-age children will be able to identify colors and designs on the larger butterflies so that they recognize the monarch or the swallowtails by name. If they are very still, they will be able to identify the smaller ones as they sit on flowers to eat. But the easiest by far is to snap a picture so they can compare the photo to the pictures. If they can put a name to three butterflies, they win.

Older School-Age Children

Older school-age children will be able to compare the butterflies they see to the pictures in the brochure and identify butterflies by name. They can also learn at least one fact about those butterflies, such as the months they are active in our county or the host plant where they lay eggs. If they can name four butterflies and remember one fact about each of them, they win.

Teens

For teenagers, there is no limit. Go ahead and surprise us! How many butterflies can you find? How many can you name? What can you tell us about them? Let this be a launch pad for your curiosity!

For Kids of All Ages

Thanks for participating in our learning adventure. We hope you have fun and learn something new. We also hope you’ll invite your friends to come out and play with the pollinators!

  • Killing Freeze on Tomato Plants

    Freeze killed my tomato plants, re-planting my plants will bloom too late to set a lot of tomatoes because of the heat factor. May I hit them with super bloom fertilizer and force them to bloom early and if so when should the super bloom be applied for max results? I would not recommend “over-fertilizing”, since it would tend to produce more rapid growth of the stems and leaves.
  • Planting Date For Tomatoes?

    Spring Gardens:

    Tomato transplants should after the last normal freeze/frost date in Parker County.

    In spring the best dates are between March 25th and April 15th. If a late freeze/frost is perdicted cover your plants with a cloth material. Avoid using plastic material as the plant can not breath. If plastic has to be used it is best to remove it after the temperature is above 32°.

     

    Fall Garden

    July 1st and July 25th. Water new plants thoroughly and water often until plants are established. With some protection from cold and cold wind it is very possible to have fresh tomatoes as late as Christmas day. 

     

     

     

     

  • Recommended Vegetables & Guide for Parker Co.

    Planting dates apply to the Parker County area and refer to the planting of seed unless otherwise indicated.

    Listed cultivars were selected for their productivity, resistance to common diseases and adaptability to Parker County conditions. Proper watering, fertilization, weed control, etc., are necessary, however, if the desired results are to be achieved. Cultivars are listed at random, not in order of preference.

  • Tomatoes ~ Determinate & Indeterminate

    What is the difference between Determinate and Indeterminate tomato plants? 

    When purchasing tomato plants the tag should indicate whether the plant is Determinate (Det) or Indeterminate (Ind). Also, the tag should let you know approximate maturity date. And if all goes to plan, one will have tomatoes by that date.

  • Tomatoes Underside Turn Flat and Black

    Every year I try to grow tomatoes with little success. The undersides always turn flat and black.

    Blossom end rot is a deficiency of calcium. The problem starts at the bottom of the tomato as a pale, brown spot that turns black and flattens the bottom of the fruit.

  • What Is The Best Way to Water Tomato Plants?

    What is the best way to water tomato plants and how much?  Water must be available in sufficient quantities for healthy growth. Most vegetables do not like wet feet, but they all must have water on a regular basis. The most efficient means of watering is a drip irrigation system.

  • Why Are Tomatoes Really Fruit, But We Think of Them as Vegetables?

    Why are tomatoes really fruit but we think of them as vegetables?  In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato must be considered a vegetable, even though, botanically, it is a fruit.