View this email in your browser
Students from Red Rock Job Corps collect milkweed seeds from their Monarch Waystation in Dushore, PA
As I sit in Monarch Waystation #1 here at Monarch Watch in Lawrence, KS, I begin to think the calendar is wrong. It says November 3, but I see just as many pollinators buzzing around than any other time this year. On approximately one square foot of chrysanthemum blooms, I identify four insect taxonomic orders. All around me, flowers are still ablaze with blooms. I am wishing I had worn summer clothes, as the sun beats down on all of the afternoon garden inhabitants. A monarch flutters by.

Since this is only my second Kansas fall, I ask Dr. Chip Taylor, our founder and director here at Monarch Watch, if this is typical. He quickly says he can count on one hand the number of times he has seen monarchs here in this garden in November. 

It seems this is a common occurrence across many parts of the country this year. One of the student challenges in our last newsletter focused on phenology. These cyclical changes that occur annually are important to not only observe, but to also take note of. It is very difficult to remember natural events from year to year over an extended period - such as weather, when certain flowers began blooming, when the last monarch of the season was spotted, when you collected milkweed seeds or when you first spotted a specific migratory bird in your garden. Discussing phenology with your students, and having them be a part of the yearly data collection process can give your lessons much more power and personal connection to students' lives. It can also provide you with many more opportunities to utilize that outdoor classroom you and your students have worked so hard to create! 

To learn more about phenology and how to incorporate it into your classroom, visit the National Phenology Network and the Monarch Waystation Network's Curricula Page. You can also visit our Forum to get in on the discussion from the previous student challenge focusing on phenology. 
Student Challenges
Fall Pollinator Frenzy
  • How many pollinators do you see? (for larger view of this photo, visit our forum or our website)
  • Can you identify any of the pollinators? How about their taxonomic classification?
  • How many insect taxonomic orders are represented in this one picture? Can you name them all?
  • What type of flowers are these that are providing so much nectar to these pollinators?
  • There is a honey bee hive nearby, but why aren't any joining in this feeding frenzy?
Student Challenge discussions are now taking place in our forum. Head on over and let us know your thoughts!


  • What is Wolbachia?
  • What percentage of the insect kingdom is Wolbachia found on? 
  • Why is there hope that Wolbachia could help the world in a major way?
  • Should humans be worried or excited? Why/Why not?
  • There is one insect in particular that scientists are focusing their efforts on, in regards to Wolbachia. What is this insect and why are scientists so optimistic?
  • How do you feel about scientists using Wolbachia in attempts to fight some of the worlds deadliest viruses? Do you think it could work? What are the potential hazards?

Student Challenge discussions are now taking place in our forum. Head on over and let us know your thoughts!

Fall In Your Waystation Garden
Preparing your garden for winter can be a fun way to engage your students in the fall. The following is a checklist of fall garden tasks and ideas. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and as with most garden philosophies, there are varying thoughts on how/when/why certain tasks should be done. The intent of this list is to serve as a quick guideline. For more gardening resources, visit the Gardening pages of our website.
  • If you want to collect seeds, now is the time
  • Weed one final time before winter and discard all weeds into the garbage, not the compost
  • Cut perennials back to four-to-six inches above the soil...
    • if foliage showed any signs of disease during the growing season
    • if you prefer a "tidier" looking garden (or if your administrators require it)
    • after the plants go dormant (typically after two or three hard frosts)
  • Don't cut perennials back...
    • if you want to provide food and shelter for wildlife (seeds for birds, small mammals and insects; stalks for pollinator nests; etc.)
    • if you want the stems to help mark where the plant is, so you don't accidentally dig it up before it sprouts in the spring
    • if you prefer a "natural" looking garden
  • Divide and replant overcrowded plants
  • Add a nice, even, two-to-three inch layer of compost
  • Many native bees nest in the ground. If you choose to add mulch, we recommend leaving some ground uncovered, since they don't typically nest in mulch.
  • Plant cool season annuals and spring bulbs
 School News and Highlights
Need some inspiration? 

*A Stony Point High School student finds a new direction in life when he discovers his love for gardening and butterflies! Check out this inspirational story:

*First and second grade students at Highland School in Warrenton, VA have turned their yearly monarch project into a school-wide project:

*Students from Chris Hooker's North Kirkwood Middle School classes, in Kirkwood, MO, use the Waystation Forum as a learning tool. Head to the forum to get ideas for your classroom!  

Want to have your pictures, videos, questions or accomplishments featured on our website or in future newsletters? The best method is to post them in our forum. You can also email me directly at

 Parting Shots
Thank you all for everything you do every single day! Your energy truly makes this world a better place:)
Copyright © 2016 Monarch Waystation Network, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp