2017-04-20 / Front Page

Butterfly programs to dot springtime at For-Mar

BY TANYA TERRY
810-452-2645 * tterry@mihomepaper.com


Although it is unknown where the red admiral butterfly migrates to in the winter, it is a welcomed at For-Mar through the spring. Although it is unknown where the red admiral butterfly migrates to in the winter, it is a welcomed at For-Mar through the spring. BURTON —For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum has several upcoming programs which offer participants an opportunity to both study and celebrate what is probably the most loved insect in our culture.

“I think it’s more than just being pretty,” said Angela Nelson, assistant horticulturalist at For-Mar. “I think butterflies mean different things to different people. I think butterflies represent freedom and beauty. I think the flight of a butterfly is symbolic to a lot of people. I’ve never seen someone see a butterfly and not smile.”

Nelson said the focus of a lot of For-Mar’s butterfly programming will probably be the monarch butterfly because everybody knows of it and it’s a big migrator. The monarch is the orange butterfly with black veins on its wings and a few white dots.


A wide variety of plants butterflies use for nectaring are housed in For-Mar’s butterfly house. A wide variety of plants butterflies use for nectaring are housed in For-Mar’s butterfly house. “It’s unique because it migrates to Mexico to spend the winters there,” Nelson said. “There’s been a population decline of the monarch butterfly because of habitat loss due to farming.”

Nelson said there is a big trend to help the monarch butterfly. She said people can plant milkweed plants, which they need to lay their eggs.

Besides sipping nectar, the monarch butterfly and other butterflies sip from puddles to get their nourishment.

“There are several predators that eat caterpillars and butterflies,” Nelson said. “One is birds. Some insects eat caterpillars, such as the praying mantis and the spider.”

A butterfly hunt is also scheduled for June 10 from 10-11:30 a.m., in which participants will learn to use the net to catch butterflies, caterpillars and eggs to put in For-Mar’s butterfly house.

Butterfly house tours are scheduled for June 24, July 29 and August 26. People can see butterfly eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and adult butterflies there.

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