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Archive for the ‘Butterfly News’ Category

Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly Gardens and Inspiration

Hoping that butterflies visit your garden is not going to make it happen. Well you already knew that, but sometimes we all need a bit of a jolt, or a bit of inspiration to help us start things.

It’s not knowing where to start. It’s the ‘fear of the unknown’ thing. What it all boils down to though, is simply making a start. Doesn’t matter whether it’s an informed start or not, it’s the act of starting that is the most important part. Once you get to that point, the rest will follow naturally.

Now I know a lot of you are scoffing at this, but it’s true of a lot of things. Getting past that first hurdle is the most difficult part of the entire process. Once you start, the next step will follow naturally. You see, even if you get the first bit wrong, that will become apparent and you will have learnt something. You become self-editing. I know you are still having doubts, but prove it yourself by taking that first step. What do you have to lose?

Inspiration? Well I was reading an article today that highlighted this approach of ‘just do it’. It wasn’t started as a butterfly garden either, but included that aspect in the end. This person persisted and I admire that. They obviously derive a lot of pleasure from it too. Notice they made mistakes but learnt from them each time.

Everyone can add to the garden’s flower and blossum nectar with a home-made butterfly feeder. You can use an inverted small jar, which can be attractive to butterflies. Make a little hole in the middle of the lid and plug it with cotton. Make a sugar solution in the ratio of 1:9, sugar:water, and fill the jar with this solution. You may need to warm the water to make it easier to dissolve. Try painting the lid to make it attractive to butterflies. Yellow is a good color. Then hang the feeder in your garden using a tree or fence panel or shed. The perfect addition to butterfly gardens.

If you want a bit more detail on what plants to use and what butterflies are attracted to which plants, there’s a blog on how to make a butterfly garden that gives you a start. Have a look through and see what inspires you about butterfly gardens.

Butterfly News Roundup

Butterfly News Roundup

Well here’s a few snippets of butterfly news I’ve found on various topics.

1. The first is a news item from the Ledger, based in Florida. The title of the piece is ‘Surveys See Decrease in Butterfly Numbers‘. Yeah? Nothing new there then. Same thing happening around the world. OK, let’s skip then to the exciting bit, the place where they announce new legislation, new land conservation, new volunteers, new funds to help out, or whatever they’ve managed to achieve or pledge or acquire.

The last sentence  of this piece? Well here it is in its entirety:

“Oh, well, maybe next year things will be better.”

What?! That’s it?

That’s your contribution to the reducing butterfly population? Oh come on guys, surely you can come up with something a bit more proactive than that? What’s the point of reiterating what everybody already knows or suspects?

Sigh.

2. I reported on the Big Butterfly Count recently, and I see that the New Forest National Park Authority are also encouraging people to not only count but also to identify. This is a bit more proactive than the post I reported on above as it’s making people aware of their plight, the habitats and what upsets the equilibrium. There’s also links to more information on the Big Butterfly Count and the Wildlife calendar. Worth having a look.

3. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (the FWS), whose primary purpose is conserving the nature of America, have approved a long-term plan which conserves the endangered Karner Blue butterfly in Michigan. Now there you go, something very positive and action taken by a body that has influence. That’s what I like to report on. Thank you guys! You can read more here.

4. Here’s a good article on butterfly defences. Very interesting piece on the various ways a butterfly can defend itself from the large range of predators out there. And it’s a might cleverer than having a sting, claw or knockout-punch! I enjoyed this very much, so I’m going to go out on a high with that one.

Till next time.

My Big Butterfly Count

Well the Big Butterfly Count is on!

I see that quite a few places are now reporting the week-long event on the Web, including the USA. It’s good to see the news filtering out there so that as many people take part as possible.

Did I take part. Of course, and I probably shall be several times this week.

My results? Well you remember that Speckled Wood I saw a few days ago? It was back again. How do I know it was the same one? Well in my small garden over the years, I’ve got used to the fact that only small numbers of butterflies ever appear, and usually the same ones stay around for weeks.

So I found the Speckled Wood, a Green Veined White and a Holly Blue. All within the allotted 15 minutes. That’s pretty good going for my garden at any time although I have had up to around six I think, usually when the Buddleia

is in full bloom. As always, here’s proof of one of my sightings.

Holly Blue

Holly Blue In My Garden

Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count Is Here

Well it’s been a few years since any serious butterfly counting was done, I think 2002 was the last time, so The Big Butterfly Count is an overdue item but most welcome.

Once again we are being asked to spend a few minutes of our time to count wildlife, and I hope you all join in starting tomorrow (24th July) or any time you can over the next week.

Butterflies are both exquisite as well as vital to the health of our natural environment. Their success is essential, however they are in significant decline.

Get involved in the Big Butterfly Count from the 24th July to the 1st of August this year and help to collect facts to conserve all of them.

Simply find a location wherever you may observe butterflies, such as a back garden or park, and count the various butterflies you see in simply 15 minutes. You can make counts in a number of locations throughout the week.

Submit your sightings at www.bigbutterflycount.org and you will be given ten per cent off plants when you go shopping on the internet at M&S. So you’re getting something back.

Butterflies are generally disappearing rapidly and we cannot support them without having your help. So please consider giving a few minutes of your time just to do a simple thing. You’ll get a free identification chart of the most common butterflies. Count them, tick them off, and then return to their website to submit your findings.

PLEASE don’t forget to do that last bit, EVEN if you only counted 1 butterfly! In fact, even counting that 1 butterfly is important as it may show us how bad things are. So your input is invaluable, even if you counted nothing!

See the Big Butterfly Count website for all the details and identification chart.

On a side note for some Chrome browser users – you may find you get errors when trying to download the Big Butterfly Count identification chart. Simply switch to Internet Explorer or FireFox to sort the problem.