Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Solstice, June 20th 2017

What is summer solstice? When is summer solstice? 

Well, the summer solstice is just around the corner on June 20th! The summer solstice is the longest day of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the first day of summer. On the contrary, in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the winter solstice in June and the shortest day of the year. The June solstice occurs when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer while the winter solstice occurs in December when the sun is directly above Tropic of Capricorn.

The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning sun and sistere, meaning to come to a stop or stand still. On the June Solstice day, the sun reaches its northernmost position as seen on Earth. At this moment, it’s zenith does not move and stands still at the Tropic of Cancer. Many people think that the Earth is the closest to this sun on the summer solstice; however, it is actually the farthest from the sun! Additionally, even though it is the longest day of the year, it is not the earliest that the sun rises! If someone was in the Arctic Circle, this is the only day of the year that they experience 24 hours of daylight. 

Celebrate the longest day of the year in the Wetlands or Join WREN at the UO Museum of Natural History. Check out our FB page for more information! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lorquin's Admiral Butterfly

Lorquin's Admiral Butterfly

Many people may of noticed beautiful butterflies flying around their garden. Named after a French Naturalist, Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin, the Lorquin’s admiral is a butterfly in the Nymphalinae subfamily. The Larvae start as being yellow with a white patch of white on the back. Eggs are typically laid near leaves on trees such as willow, poplar, cherry, cottonwood and orchard trees.

The Lorquin’s admiral generally have brown-black wings with a row of spots that have orange tips. Females are generally larger than males and can be found mostly in forest edges, mountain canyons, parks, stream sides and groves of cottonwood. Their usual food sources include California buckeye, yerba santa, bird droppings and dung. These butterflies are extremely territorial and will attack any intruders including large birds! In the northern areas they generally are seen flying between June and August.

Find out more about these butterflies and many other summer insects at our Wetland Wander on June 13th at Meadowlark Prairie @ 9am. Like us on FB to find out more about upcoming events.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June Wetland Wander!
Meadowlark Prairie 
88525 Greenhill Road

June has arrived and summer is going to be here before we know it! Join WREN for our next Wetland Wander. This month we will be exploring the wetlands and looking for early summer insects such as butterflies, dragonflies and many more! The walk will be lead by a local naturalist Rick Ahrens. 

Wetland Wanders are casual walks through the West Eugene Wetlands. The walks are FREE and open to the public. We suggest to bring water and appropriate layers. WREN will provide binoculars for anyone interested. 

Directions: Participants are asked to meet at the Meadowlark Prairie Overlook located at 88525 Greenhill Road, south of the intersection with Royal Avenue.

Questions? Contact WREN at 541.338.7047
Facebook: @WRENintheWEW

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Family Exploration Day

Saturday, June 3rd


 Meadowlark Prairie 

88525 Green Hill Road

The sun is starting to come out to play and summer is approaching fast! What better way to enjoy the sunshine than to have some family fun out in the wetlands?
Discover the West Eugene Wetlands with your family in a day of unstructured, independent exploration!
We provide a backpack of binoculars, field guides, bug net, hand magnifier, and bug boxes, you bring your curiosity and sense of adventure! Drop by anytime between 10am and 2pm to check out your pack. WREN staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions. You can complete the wetland scavenger hunt or just explore on your own, it is up to you!

This event is FREE and families are encouraged!

Contact Us: 541-338-7047

Friday, May 19, 2017

Camas Flower
As spring is in the air and the flowers have started to blossom you may have noticed pretty purple flowers started to sprout. These flowers are called Camas. Camas is a North American plant whose greatest diversity lies in Oregon, which is home to over 65 percent of the named species! Camas plants generally produce flowers between April and June and in Oregon the two most common Camas species found are the Great Cammas and the Common Camas. Although both species look very similar and have some hybridization, they are genetically distinct and both important for their abundance and nutrition they provide to diverse animals.

Indigenous people used the camas bulbs extensively for food. Camas bulbs were a staple of the Kalapuyan diet. After the bulbs were dug up, they were pressed into cakes and baked over several days. These highly nutritious cakes sustained the Kalapuya through the winter season and were also bartered with other tribes as a valuable commodity. Additionally, the Kalapuya burned the prairies seasonally in large part to insure the continuance of the Camas population.

Camas are still used in restoration projects to wetlands to reintroduce a native species. Each year in Oregon, indigenous communities celebrate the Camas harvest to commemorate its role in their cultural history. Find out more about Camas and other plants by joining us on our next wetland wander!

For more information contact WREN at or check out our Facebook @WRENintheWEW