Habitat Garden Club - Pollinators

From Habitat Garden Club host, Michelle Reynolds:

Habitat Garden Club meets every Tuesday from 8 am until 11 am at the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and is not just about working and weeding in the gardens. It is about discovery of new things. We like to take the time to notice the buzzing insects around us. We take pictures, post them to iNaturalist for identification, and we’re constantly learning about the nature that surrounds us.

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) provides a pretty backdrop to this busy bumblebee as it visited many flowers, packing its pollen baskets and transferring pollen from flower to flower throughout the day.

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium) provides a pretty backdrop to this busy bumblebee as it visited many flowers, packing its pollen baskets and transferring pollen from flower to flower throughout the day.

Uroleucon aphids siphon sweet juices from stems of tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), the carpenter ant crawled around them and drank their sugary excretions (honeydew). Yes, it is a little bit gross but mostly cool.

Uroleucon aphids siphon sweet juices from stems of tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima), the carpenter ant crawled around them and drank their sugary excretions (honeydew). Yes, it is a little bit gross but mostly cool.

Back to Nature

Ruffner Book Promo

Back to Nature by Mark Kelly is the “Ruffner book” whispered about for years, and now available for purchase!

In vivid prose, Kelly relates the history of Ruffner Mountain—it’s missteps and setbacks—a story that, in many ways, mirrors the story of Birmingham. Giving this incredible narrative life are the photos of Bob Farley and together they beautifully illustrate Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition’s 40 years of existence and the mountain’s journey back to nature.

To order Back to Nature, visit our store’s website , or visit Alabama Booksmith and Ruffner Mountain on specific dates in September to get a signed copy - details of which can be found on our events calendar for September.

May 4 and 5 Weekend Hours Update

CHANGE IN RUFFNER'S HOURS THIS WEEKEND, MAY 4-5:

Life happens to all of us - even to Ruffner staff. Less than a dozen hard-working and passionate employees labor seven days a week to maintain Ruffner Mountain, while also continuing our conservation and education efforts. Unfortunately, this week has been a hard one - our coalition has been beset by illness, overwork, and death in their families.

Because Ruffner is only as strong as its staff, we will have modified hours this weekend in order to let them breathe, grieve, and take care of what needs to be taken care of - namely, themselves.

Ruffner's Nature Center and Offices will be close at 2pm Saturday, the 4th, and remain closed until normal operating hours on Tuesday, the 6th.

That means staff will not be around to answer your questions Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Printed preserve maps will not be available, and the animal exhibits will not be accessible to the public. However, the pavilion bathrooms will be open and preserve maps are available on our website. The trails are open from dawn to dusk and, as always, hike at your own risk.

Thank you for understanding - and if you see a staff member in the near future, thank them for their hard work towards the place we all love.

P.S. No worries about our captive wildlife collection - no matter what the situation, they will always be taken care of with the utmost care

From all of us at Ruffner Mountain THANK YOU for such an amazing Native Plant Sale. It was truly humbling to see so many folks show up to support biodiversity. Thank you for bringing habitat gardening to your own home - that is what makes these plant sales successful. If we, along with Turkey Creek Nature Preserve can convince you that growing natives is vital to sustaining wildlife habitats, combating climate change, and conserving water - then we have done our job.

This year’s plant sale saw approximately 3,245 native plants entering yards and gardens in Birmingham and beyond. Some of our most popular natives this year were Woodland Phlox 'Blue Moon', Purple Coneflower, Heartleaf Foamflower, and Red (Scarlet) Buckeye. 

We’d like to give special thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who helped on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday including: Michelle Reynolds, Bob Farley, Mandy Nobles, Karen Hutchinson, Debbie Dumais, Ruffner Mountain Board of Directors, Friends of Turkey Creek, Officer Glenn Pleasant, Linda Gail Sherk, and the Blanche Dean Chapter of the Alabama Wildflower Society. We would also like to express our gratitude to several vendors who made our lives a lot easier while preparing for the weekend: Mom's Basement, Hop City, Hero Doughnuts, Scott Turner (United-Johnson Brothers of Alabama), El Barrio, Alabama Waldorf School, Revelator, and Diplomat Deli.

All photos by Bob Farley 

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