Where are the butterflies?
SYCAMORE – The hot dry weather this summer has certainly impacted farmland, gardens and lawns, but it has also taken its toll on wildlife. From fish and birds to reptiles and mammals, everyone is feeling the heat – even butterflies. Learn how the monarch butterfly is faring this year at “Monarchs,” a presentation at the Midwest Museum of Natural History on Saturday, Sept. 8, 10:30 to noon. Cost is $3/person, plus museum admission, and no registration is required.
It’s a cycle we all know by heart: the caterpillar hatches from the egg, goes into a chrysalis, and emerges as a butterfly. But there’s much more to it than meets the eye! Janie Grillo, butterfly enthusiast and Monarch Watch volunteer, presents a family-friendly program on the monarch butterfly, featuring their amazing migration to Mexico, the process of butterfly tagging, and how to attract butterflies to your own yard by creating a waystation. Grillo will bring displays, butterfly supplies, reference material, and, nature permitting, live monarchs.
In years past, Grillo has brought dozens of butterflies to her presentations, but this year is different. This summer’s weather has caused many plants to bloom and go to seed early, or not bloom at all. For animals that rely on nectar, like monarchs, it can have major impacts on their population. Grillo has been raising monarchs for ten years and said that she hasn’t seen nearly as many butterflies of any kind this summer. “I've spoken to other people that raise them as well and there's just so few to be found,” she said.
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