The Silent Auction LCHPP Fundraiser: A Huge Success!


September 9, 2013: Update on Next Year”s Art Exhibit.

I will be curating an art exhibit at Ex-Colegio Jesuita in Patzcuaro next year, from June 13 – July 13. The opening reception, with refreshments, will be the evening of June 12th, 6 – 9. The theme is The Biodiversity of Michoacán, with categories of Botanical Art and Illustration, Pollinators, Plants, Animals, Journal Pages and Children”s Art. Due to spatial constraints, the artwork must be 2-dimensional or something that can hang on a wall. Art will be judged on how well it teaches the viewer about an aspect of Michoacán”s biodiversity. Artwork in the category of Botanical Art and Illustration will be judged on mastery of technique, botanical accuracy and aesthetic appeal. Depending on how many entries are received and accepted, there might not be space to hang them all at once. We might have two separate shows, one from June 13 – June 26 and one from June 28 – July 13 with another reception on June 27th. The entry fee is 200 pesos ( or $16.00) for artists who live outside of Mexico for more than 6 months per year; 100 pesos for artists who live in Mexico at least 6 months per year; 50 pesos for permanent residents of Mexico; and 20 pesos for entrants under 18 years old. If anyone wants to participate but cannot afford the entry fee, please let me know. I don”t want to exclude anyone. I will put the entry form on the web-site soon. Thank you!

August 26, 2013: Guided Hike of the Malpais Won at Silent Auction.

Dar made the highest bid on a guided hike. She brought along several friends to learn about the flora of the Malpais by medicinal plant expert Francis Rodriguez.


Amongst the poison ivy or benberiqua were other plants like linden or pilia, nogalillo, whose leaves are red before green,

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I followed and finally caught a shot of an orange and black butterfly, a Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) in the family Nymphalidae.

DSC_0029This species is known for being hard to approach; the genus is named for the Greek word euptoietos for “easily scared”. Males fly around, actively looking for females. Eggs are pale green or cream colored, laid singly. The larva is red with black stripes, white spots and a red middorsal stripe with a white or black ovals on each segment, and 6 rows of black spines. The chrysalis is shiny white with black spots, brown markings, and orange and gold tubercules. Adults overwinter in the south and fly north each spring and summer. They use a variety of host plants, including passionflower, for laying eggs.

I recently planted two different species of passionflower in Zirahuen, blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea, native to South America and the national flower of Paraguay), and purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata, maypop, common in the southern U.S. and the state wildflower of Tennessee). Gulf fritillaries use exclusively passionflowers as host plants. Zebra longwings use them as well.

Because we got a little turned around by the miringua or spirit of the Malpais, the hike took four and a half hours instead of 3, but everyone had a good time anyway. We felt only a couple of drops of rain and enjoyed some beautiful views of the mountains and Lake Patzcuaro.

DSC_0088AfteDSC_0074r the hike, everyone enjoyed a nice lunch at the German restaurant Campestre Alemagne where fish are raised in the ponds out back. My favorite food there is the terrific carrot-raisin salad.

August 27, 2013: Botanical Art Workshop Won at Silent Auction

Dara had the highest bid on the