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October 21, 2016

My what a day! I am so impressed with the Advanced MG training that the Greene County Master Gardeners put on today, and I didn’t even get to stay for the full afternoon sessions.  I think the evaluations will bear me out on this one.  They were highly organized with a full lineup of top-notch speakers, notebooksmonarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-16 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-17 and thumb drives and of course excellent food.  Lori Spencer kicked us off , followed by Jack Singleton, then me, Ruth Andre and Theia Foley and finished by Dr. Don Steinkraus.  Topics included monarchs and metamorphosis, monarchs in Mexico, monarch tagging and release, designing a butterfly garden, monarchs and their role in the ecosystem and constraints on monarch populations. monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-21 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-22 Folks got to try their hand at monarch tagging.monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-30 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-37monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-33 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-35

After a delicious lunch we went outside and released all the tagged monarchs.  monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-42 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-43 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-44 We had over 80 MGs from 19 counties.  The enthusiasm of the students and their eagerness to learn and share their knowledge continues to amaze me.  I am so glad I work with such fabulous volunteers. monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-31 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-40 monarchs-advanced-class-paragould-16-38 I had to leave after the monarch release to drive to El Dorado for a program tomorrow morning.  A long drive, but a good day for driving.

It has been a glorious day, both with exciting educational opportunities and weather-wise. Clear skies and cool, crisp air.  I hope it lasts!

On a sadder note, today we lost one of our longtime MG members. Judy Hollowelljudy-hollowell formerly of Saline County, who was instrumental in our state conference there in 2015, and a fellow traveler to France, Costa Rica and Italy, died this morning from cancer. Judy had moved to Arizona soon after the 2015 conference to be closer to her daughter and grandson, but always kept in touch with her Arkansas folks.  She was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in August and lost the battle this morning.  All who knew Judy loved her. She always had a smile on her face and was willing to help.  She will be missed by many and our thoughts are with her family.

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