The Butterfly House is open at Tyler Arboretum. Each year the staff and volunteers net butterflies on the arboretum property and place them in the screened house.
The day I went, the house had Cabbage Whites, Orange Sulphurs, a Mourning Cloak, Silver-spotted Skipper, Monarchs and Great Spangled Frittilaries. I like the fact that these are local species not exotics from other lands.
I also saw an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on the flowers outside the house.
Species that have been seen in the past but not lately include Black Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, Red-banded Hairstreak and Eastern Tailed Blue.
Apparently, this last list of butterflies have not been spotted on the arboretum grounds for several years. I wonder if it is a natural dip in the respective species populations or a lack of appropriate plants. The arboretum has many non-native species of plants on the grounds. Perhaps, planting larval host and nectar plants would help increase the butterfly populations. But, it is a large property (650-acres), I hopeful the larval plants are already there.
What is great about the House is that the butterflies are so close. I can sit on a comfortable bench, watch their habits and study the marking on the butterflies’ wings. And I can take wonderful photographs.
This Monarch landed on the ground beside the bench I was sitting on and stayed there for at least fifteen minutes.
I plan on visiting the Butterfly House every few weeks to see different species and take more photos.
The 1,400 square foot Butterfly House is open from Saturday, July 2 to Wednesday, August 31, 2011.
Access to the house is free with regular admission.
On August 31, 2011 there will be a Great Monarch Migration program were children and adults learn about and tag Monarchs.
There will be special event on Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The netting will be removed from the frame of the Butterfly House and the butterflies freed to depart on their southern journey.
Tyler Arboretum is located at 515 Painter Road, Media, PA 19063
All the photographs in this post where taken at the Butterfly House.