Friday, May 16, 2014

Butterfly workshop - July 12!

A patch of butterfly-weed attracts a lepidopteran blizzard of Eastern Swallowtails, Great Spangled Fritillaries, and Spicebush Swallowtails. Mid-summer is a great time to find lots of butterflies, of many species. Thus, the date of the upcoming Butterfly Workshop, hosted by the Midwest Native Plant Conference: Saturday, July 12.

A Silvery Checkerspot taps nectar from a Virginia mountain mint, one of scores of nectar-rich summer blooming plants.

The workshop will be held at the capacious and comfortable visitor's center at Caesar's Creek Lake in Warren County, southwest Ohio. This location is not far from Cincinnati, and is an easy drive from Columbus and much of the rest of Ohio and adjacent Indiana and Kentucky.

A Checkered Skipper taps into a sunflower. Southwest Ohio is a great place to look for southern immigrant butterflies such as this species. Not all skippers are as easy to identify as this one, but a number of top butterfly experts will be on hand to help sort things out. Authors Jaret Daniels (Butterflies of Ohio) and Jeff Belth (Butterflies of Indiana) will deliver talks and help with field trips.

In 2012, Ohio experienced the largest invasion of the southern Dainty Sulphur ever. Butterflies and other highly mobile insects respond rapidly to climate change, and evidence suggests that certain southern butterfly species are moving north in increasing numbers. Cheryl Harner will give a talk on just that subject: Butterflies as Bio-indicators.

The areas immediately adjacent to the workshop site contain lots of interesting and diverse habitat, and our field trips are sure to rack up some good lists. Maybe even including one of the more uncommon species such as this stunning little Harvester, our only carnivorous butterfly.

Butterflies make excellent photographic subjects, and Scott Hogsten will give a talk about photographic techniques just for butterflies.

A "puddle party" of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails creates a colorful scrum, along with a few Spicebush Swallowtails. Following lunch (provided) and the indoor programs, we'll head afield to seek butterflies. This will be a great opportunity to apply what we learned during the talks, and perhaps practice photographic techniques. A raft of topflight butterfliers will lead these excursions, including the aforementioned speakers, Sandy Belth, Jim Davidson, your narrator (who doesn't claim the expertise of the others), and a number of other experts.

Space is limited, so register soon. Complete details are RIGHT HERE.

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