This Saturday, July 20, 2013, I will be at the Evonik Nature Center for the Tippecanoe Butterfly Encounter. This is the tenth year for this activity, which began in 2004. The number of species has been relatively consistent, with a few entries and exits on the list. Last year, a drought year, resulted in the lowest counts of individuals, but the number of species was not lower. Last year, we recorded one Monarch Butterfly which is consistent with low numbers observed by others. I have not seen many monarchs in this area, so low counts may persist for a butterfly that in past years was more common. Seasonal weather patterns, especially temperature and precipition, have a large impact on the number of individuals.The people who participate in the Butterfly Encounter range from accomplished “hobby” Lepidopterists to people with little familiarity. Ages range from preschool to octogenarians. Participants share a love of nature and enjoy an opportunity to learn from others about the world around us. One of my interesting tour groups included an elderly woman who knew many of the plants, their medicinal uses and home remedies. She shared her expertise with plants as we shared our expertise about butterflies.
For those in the area and interested in attending, we will meet at 1 pm at the Evonik Nature center. Follow this link to the information website. We will have printed guides We will conduct our count from 1:30 – 3 pm, then tally the results and present them before 4 pm. I am looking forward to a fun afternoon.