Happy 4th of July!
I just wanted to extend my hopes that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!
Did you know that this is THE time of year to be out enjoying the butterflies? Though we begin to see butterflies as soon as it warms up in the spring, early to mid-July is when you’re likely to see the most species on any given day.
Butterflies can be found in most habitats, even shadowed interior forests hold some species. To see the most species, it’s wise to search in a wide variety of habitats.
The prairie areas can be the most productive in terms of numbers. As summer sets in, the coneflowers, liatris, butterfly weed and other nectar producing flowers are blooming in full force and that attracts the butterflies.
Keep in mind that butterflies range in size from our large species like swallowtails which can have a wingspan of 5 or 6 inches all the way down to our tiny skippers with a wingspan probably less than in inch. They’re so small it’s hard to keep an eye on them as they fly from flower to flower!
So seeing summer is the time for summer vacations, no school and long days, head on out and see what you can find. A good close focusing binoculars is nice to have when out butterfly watching and if you have children, maybe they want to try to capture a few with a butterfly net. If so, handle the butterfly carefully and minimally, let the children appreciate their beauty for a moment and then release them unharmed. Some butterfly populations are in trouble, even the once abundant Monarch has declined drastically, so please don’t consider collecting them or even keeping them as “pets” for a time.
I’d love to hear what you see when you go exploring this summer!