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Seminar spotlight: Insects & Plants—An Ecological Marriage for the Ages

June 30th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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With the recent rain and hot weather the Mono Basin’s wildflower bloom is getting started! With the bloom come thousands of insects that rely on certain flowers for survival, and, in turn, the flowers rely on those insects as well. Sign up now for the Insects & Plants: An Ecological Marriage for the Ages field seminar to unravel the mysteries of these insect-plant relationships.

Insects & Plants: An Ecological Marriage for the Ages • July 17–19 • $165 per person/$150 for members • sign up here

The Insects & Plants field seminar will explore the complex relationships in this ecological "marriage," like between native bees and Calochortus species of lilies. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

The Insects & Plants field seminar will explore the complex relationships in this ecological “marriage,” like between native bees and Calochortus lilies. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

This seminar will explore the complex, intimate relationships and attractions between insects and plants that support and sustain life on Earth, including the threats to this essential relationship. In addition, participants will learn how cultures, artists, and poets have interpreted the insect-plant “marriage for the ages.”

A vibrant sheep moth found in the Mono Basin. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

A vibrant sheep moth found in the Mono Basin. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The Mono Basin is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the continent, which means that the range of habitats and elevations here will offer a multitude of blooming flowers and plants in peak summer foliage. Mid-July is also a peak time for insect activity, and with naturalists Richard Potashin and Nancy Hadlock as guides, participants will enjoy three days of expert instruction.

Expert naturalists Richard Potashin and Nancy Hadlock have spent decades unraveling the Eastern Sierra's ecological mysteries. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Expert naturalists Richard Potashin and Nancy Hadlock have spent decades unraveling the Eastern Sierra’s ecological mysteries. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Richard Potashin, aka “Alkali Flat,” is a longtime Eastern Sierra resident and past Mono Lake Committee intern and canoe guide. In a previous life as a landscape gardener, he developed a passion for the native flora and incorporated native plants into ornamental landscapes. Nancy Hadlock has been a naturalist, interpreter and educator for the National Park Service and US Forest Service for over 30 years. Her enthusiasm for insects is contagious.

What insect made these marks on aspen leaves? Find out in the Insects & Plants field seminar. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

What insect made these marks on aspen leaves? Find out in the Insects & Plants field seminar. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Insects & Plants: An Ecological Marriage for the Ages • July 17–19 • $165 per person/$150 for members • sign up here

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