Sunday March 8, 2015
Barb Peterson is a longtime friend who donates her time to promote butterfly awareness. Last weekend, we were invited by Barb to contribute butterflies and caterpillars to an event that she was involved with: The Scrub Jay Festival, held annually now for 6 years, held this year at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Despite rainy weather, the turnout was great! We brought adult butterflies, chrysalises, and caterpillars, to add to what Barb already had planned. It was a big hit. One of the rangers said she thought it was the best exhibit there.
But the high point was when a jay-ing sulfur went and pupated during the exhibit, with a crowd of people watching! People were amazed and awed.
It surprised us to find that most of the general public seems to be aware of the decreased number of migrating Monarchs, and their overall decreasing population. But most weren’t aware of the reasons for the decline, or what they could do to help. Last November, at the Butterfly Professionals Conference, we had bought some packets of pamphlets called “Save the Monarch” from an attendee named Rose. The pamphlets address these important questions. We brought some to the Festival, and these folks were grateful to get the information. Education is vital if we are going to help increase the Monarch population.
Thank you to Barb for giving us a chance to take part.
Here are some pictures, of the entire booth, of our cubes of caterpillars and of butterflies, and some visitors:
In this picture, the lady in a black coat is looking at her phone; I asked her if I could get her a better angle, and she shushed me that she was posting a photo of us to Facebook right from the Festival :)
This is a crowd of people watching the Sulfur pupate, right before their eyes. That was special!