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6th Annual Birds, Blooms and Butterflies Festival

What a glorious weekend we had here at Dahlem!  Last week many volunteers and staff worked hard to get our grounds ready for the 6th Annual Birds, Blooms and Butterflies Festival on Saturday, and it paid off!
Several hundred native plants arrived and had to be sorted and tagged for sale.

Our first customer:  a giant swallowtail.  It was VERY happy with the rough blazing star and sat there nectaring for over half an hour.

Tents were erected, the gardens were weeded, the playscape was tidied up, many tables and chairs were shuffled around…we couldn’t have done it without such dedicated people.

When the gates opened Saturday morning, the Friends of Dahlem were ready with free coffee and donuts for our volunteers and vendors.

The first presentation of the day is always Allen Chartier’s hummingbird banding, and it is very popular.  This year we had at least ten hummers banded – it kept him busy.

For many, this the closest they will ever see a hummingbird.  It is magical.

And at least ten lucky people got to hold the birds as they were released.

This terrific event is very family-friendly.  For the little ones in the crowd, we have face (and arm) painting,

and plenty of kids’ crafts.

Jackson Honey Bee Rescue had a booth, educating people about what they can do to help honey bees.

Other vendors included some area artists:  jewelry, paintings, and pottery.

The Wildlife Recovery Association is here every year, too, with their live birds program.  Joe Rogers started off with a pigeon that people could touch and meet up close,

and then he broke out the birds of prey – always very popular.

Many people went home with new plants to add to their gardens.

BBB is an event for people of all ages.  It is a great place for generations to connect.

A large, mysterious bird was sighted several times around the property.

Songbirds, butterflies and squirrels delighted visitors all day long.

A second beekeeper also had a booth.  Gallons of local honey were sold throughout the day.

The loon association helped educate visitors about loons and the problems they are facing with lead and mercury.  Change out lead fishing gear for less toxic equipment.

The Jackson County Master Gardeners, Michigan Audubon, the Michigan Bluebird Society were also all on hand to help educate people about native plants, birds and insects, and what we can all do to encourage them in our yards.

Our final count had us at over 750 visitors for BBB this year!  Wow!  The perfect weather only helped.  Thank you to everyone who came out, and everyone who worked, either at a booth or helping us set up or take down…this event was a success all because of you!

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