I post about bees more often since they are my personal area of highest interest, but butterflies are of course quite important pollinators too. We seek to conserve them as well and many join the bees in drinking nectar from the plants on our farm.
I recently took a road trip and had the great fortune to visit three different butterfly exhibits.
These gardens and exhibits were quite inspirational! It helped me zero in on how we might be able to help local butterflies as our project takes shape.
Humbolt Botanical Garden butterfly house
They just started their butterfly project this year by catching butterflies in the garden and bringing them into a section of the greenhouse. (Although they also ordered Monarch eggs.)
Above you can see a Red Admiral on a Mexican Sunflower.
They had host plants available as well, with a lot of caterpillars! This is a Monarch caterpillar munching on milkweed.
Hallberg Butterfly Garden, Sebastapol, California
The oldest butterfly garden in the US! They are going through some changes now, since the woman who started it just recently passed away. Certainly worth a visit. Make sure to contact them ahead of time for a tour.
Here are caterpillars from the Pipevine Swallowtail.
And a chrysalis from the same species.
Here’s a caterpillar from a giant Polyphemus Moth.
Last, but not least we went to the California Academy of Sciences. Their project is a bit different, as they actually import exotic chrysalis’ from South America.
For more information about that, check out this sign.
This is a shot of their case of chrysalis’.
And some of the butterflies…