A Different Kind of Butterfly House
This butterfly house serves as an educational center to local residence, student summer camps, and school field trips by showing them what butterfly species they can attract to their gardens, what nectar plants work best in this region as well as butterflies that they can find in other parts of North America. The butterfly house and plants are made possible by grants from several local organizations and donations.
The butterfly house is a net structure so the conditions inside the butterfly house are the same as outside. Fortunately for us, it had rained that morning and then the sun came out making it humid and sunny. Perfect flight conditions for the butterflies. And they were very active.
I was enamored with a few species that are native to North America but not species I would see in my home garden. The white peacock butterfly's strong hold is in south Florida and Texas where the conditions are more tropical. They are not particularly strong fliers and are less hardy than their cousin the buckeye, which is one I often see in my garden.
|white peacock butterfly|
Can you see the relation?
|releasing a buckeye butterfly|
|releasing a Julia butterfly|
Oddly, some of the butterflies were very attracted to my son's feet. Not sure if they liked the stinky smell or just the color blue. We had to be very careful walking around because lots of the butterflies hung around in the gravel paths.
This was my first time seeing a Queen butterfly. It is a beautiful chestnut brown color and the white spots reminded me of the monarch butterflies. Like the monarch, Queens use milkweed as a host plant too.
One of my favorite swallowtails is the Giant Swallowtail and this one looks like it has been pretty beat up by the weather. It must be challenging to be such a big butterfly trying to maneuver in the winds and rain.
Overall, I was very impressed with this exhibit, although it was heart breaking to see the butterflies trying to reproduce knowing what the outcome would be. This exhibit serves to educate and encourage people to create and preserve the native butterfly habitat which needs all the assistance it can get.