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The Open House is over! UPDATED!

UPDATE:

The winners of the free raffle are:

Christine S. of Melbourne won the booklets on Florida butterflies and butterfly gardening.

The t-shirt went to Bonnie B of Edgewood.

And the Jabebo earrings were won by Betsy R. of Palm Bay.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

The Open House is over. It was a great success, despite some rain on Sunday. We’ll have more later, hopefully with pictures, but here’s a story we wanted to tell you:

At 2:00 pm on Sunday, just as we were closing up, three ladies arrived. One of the ladies told us that the previous afternoon, Saturday, she had been in a thrift shop and she saw two little girls whose faces were painted with butterflies. The girls were “dancing like butterflies”. The lady was so taken by their mood that she asked them where they had been and what had made them so happy. They told her they had been to a “magical” garden and had seen butterflies and flowers.

The lady called two of her friends who live in Tarpon Springs, on the west coast, a three hour drive each way from here, and they drove over on Sunday just to come to our Open House. The girl’s didn’t have any of our brochures or Web site information, but they told the lady the general neighborhood, and told her to look for the signs. So the three women drove around and around until they spotted our signs, just before we took them down.

The three ladies stayed for an hour, until 3:00, and we talked.

Others who came from some distance were a entire group from the Volusia County Native Plant Society, who came from the Daytona area, and an exchange student from Italy who came with our friend Cheryl.

We would like to thank the two dancing girls, and Janet and her husband Jeff, who came down all the way from Georgia to serve as greeters on Saturday. And we want to thank Marian, who greeted on Sunday, along with her grandson Matthew. And we want to thank Vilija for doing all the face painting on both days.

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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Come by for an Open House!

This year, June 3rd is Butterfly Education and Awareness Day! And June 6th is the birthday of Judi’s little, late beagle, Princess Sunni, who inspired Judi’s Butterflies. Join us for a celebration, an Open House in the Gardens on June 3rd and 4th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We should have many species of flying butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Tours will include visits inside Butterfly House, where you’ll be able to see butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs up close and personal. (Hint: Bring your camera! And your children.)

Refreshments and Raffles

There will also be complimentary refreshments, and goodie bags and small gifts for children ten and younger (so don’t accidentally forget your children :), and free raffles!

The special celebratory cakes each day will be cut into at Noon.

Tours, plants for sale, and take pictures!

We will also have limited supplies of butterfly plants — both host and nectar — for sale, and a limited number of eggs or caterpillars for some species for those who buy host plants, or already have a host plant at home! Plants, eggs, and caterpillars are all products of Judi’s Gardens.

Jabebo Earrings

We are proud to be a retailer for Jabebo Earrings. Jabebo makes highly detailed earrings using butterfly and other nature-themed subjects. We will have a wide selection available for purchase:

Jabebo Monarch Earrings

But you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you.

We’ll be on hand to talk about the amazing butterfly life cycle, butterfly plants, what you can do if you want butterflies in your yard, how good a glass of lemonade is on a hot day, and whatever else you might want to talk about.

Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures.

And did I mention refreshments?

Where and When

Remember, Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A Sign

Judi’s Gardens are in Northeast Palm Bay, but west of the Interstate (that’s I-95). If you’re familiar with the area, we will have signs out on Emerson Dr between the Tillman Canal and Americana Blvd, directing you to the Gardens. For more detailed directions, you can:

- Put “Emerson and Bellevue, 32907” in your turn-by-turn mapping program on your smart phone or GPS, or

- Click here for a Google map where you can get driving directions, or

- Click the Contact Me tab above and ask Judi any questions you might have, or

- Follow one of these sets of directions:

Directions from anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay.

Directions from anywhere south of Malabar Road in Palm Bay, or anywhere south of Palm Bay at all, for that matter.

From anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay

If coming from the north, make your way down to Palm Bay Road. Just barely to the west of the I-95 interchange on Palm Bay Road, take Culver Drive south. Culver is a short connector road that will take you to Emerson Drive. Turn left (east) on Emerson…

…or, if you’re coming from West Palm Bay…

Get on Emerson heading east from Minton Road.

Either way, from the north or the west, you’re now heading east on Emerson into the Lockmar subdivision.

Drive through Lockmar on Emerson until you pass Fred Lee Park and cross the Tillman Canal. Start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to Americana Blvd (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

From South Palm Bay, or south of Palm Bay

Make your way to Malabar Road in Palm Bay. From Malabar Road, turn north on Emerson. (If you’re coming up I-95, go west on Malabar Road after you exit the Interstate, to get to Emerson.)

Heading north on Emerson, *as soon as you pass Americana Blvd (there’s a little convenience store on the corner), start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to the bridge over the Tillman Canal (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Thanks!

Thanks to Brent and Sharon at Maple Street Natives, for publicizing the event by handing out our leaflets; and especially Teresa at Rockledge Gardens for mentioning us in her E-Leaflet newsletter. And thank you to Busy Bee Lawn and Garden for carrying our leaflets in the Vero Beach area. Please patronize these nurseries — we do!

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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Hackberry Trees Available for Sale

At our recent Butterfly Gardens Open House, there was a lot of interest in Hackberry trees. This is a fast-growing, Florida native shade tree, which is the host plant for four different species of caterpillars (Hackberry Emperor, Question Mark, Tawny Emperor, and Mourning Cloak). It’s sometimes also called a Sugarberry tree.

Our local native plant nursery, Maple Street Natives, doesn’t have any Hackberry trees, so I acquired a limited number of very nice Hackberry trees, about three or four feet high, in one gallon pots. For those of you who want one, they are available on a first-come first-serve basis for $15.00 each. You will need to be able to pick yours up. Either click “Contact Me” above, or send me an email at judi@judisbutterflies.com if you’re interested!

These are Tawny Emporer eggs on Hackberry leaves. Notice how they are laid in structures with almost mathematical perfection:

Tawny Emporer Eggs

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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The Open House was the biggest ever!

This Open House was the biggest ever, even with half of Sunday’s event being rained out by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Colin.

It started on Saturday, with the refreshments being laid out:

As soon as we opened, there was an influx of people. It was overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. We added a new member, Sally, to our team this year, and Judi’s mother, Lynn, took on the new and critical role of managing the back porch; that might have been the only way we were able to survive the rush. We had just shy of 100 visitors in four hours. Here are some pictures from Saturday; Sunday, when the insanity grew even more intense, is after these pictures:

Play “Find the Guests”:

Waiting to get into Butterfly House:

On Sunday we had cars coming down the street, and people getting out and coming up the driveway, even before we opened! That’s never happened before! We told everyone that we couldn’t open until 10:00 — we were still running around getting set up… which reminds me, here’s the refreshments table for Sunday:

…and a close-up of Sunday’s cake:

At 10:00 sharp Greg walked down to the street and waved to let everyone know that we were open. There were cars lined up on both sides of the street, both up and down the street. Did we mention it was crazy? People began pouring out of the cars, including a Girl Scout troop (some of the girls wearing their badge sashes) and their moms — we have no idea how they heard about us. Oh my gosh!

Unfortunately — and we mean very, very sadly unfortunately — it began to rain at noon. Everyone took cover and waited for it to blow over… but it didn’t. Around 1:00 we began to offer people umbrella assistance to make it out to their cars.

Despite the rain having cut Sunday’s time in half, we had about 150 guests over the entire Open House, from as far away as Volusia County to the north, and Fort Pierce to the south. We did double-count people who came on both Saturday and Sunday — and there were some. We saw a lot of old friends. First, it goes without saying, we have to recognize and thank Nancy and Bob, who have never missed an event, even though we never get to spend the time with them that they deserve. It’s loyalty like that that makes doing this worthwhile.

And we were thrilled to welcome Nellie D., and Barbara P. and her friends from the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, including a surprise visitor: Carol, who had helped Greg with an event at the refuge recently. Another pair of friends and regulars, Perry and Charmaine, came both days!

Without any more ado, here are pictures from Sunday, starting with some of the Girl Scouts:

On the porch:

This little girl was such a perfect model:

…and here’s why: Mom is taking her picture:

A few more guests:

Thank you everyone who came to see us! You are the ones who make it worthwhile.

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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It's Open House time!

June 4th is Butterfly Education and Awareness Day! And June 6th is the birthday of Judi’s little, late beagle, Princess Sunni, who inspired Judi’s Butterflies. Join us for a celebration, an Open House in the Gardens on June 4th and 5th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We should have many species of flying butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Tours will include visits inside Butterfly House, where you’ll be able to see butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs up close and personal. (Hint: Bring your camera! And your children.)

Arial View of the Gardens

Refreshments and Raffles

There will also be complimentary refreshments, and goodie bags and small gifts for children ten and younger (so don’t accidentally forget your children :), and free raffles!

Arial View of the Gardens

Tours, plants for sale, and take pictures!

We will also have limited supplies of butterfly plants — both host and nectar — for sale, and a limited number of eggs or caterpillars for some species for those who buy host plants, or already have a host plant at home! Plants, eggs, and caterpillars are all products of Judi’s Gardens.

Panorama

Jabebo Earrings

We are proud to be a retailer for Jabebo Earrings. Jabebo makes highly detailed earrings using butterfly and other nature-themed subjects. We will have a wide selection available for purchase:

Jabebo Monarch Earrings

But you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you.

We’ll be on hand to talk about the amazing butterfly life cycle, butterfly plants, what you can do if you want butterflies in your yard, how good a glass of lemonade is on a hot day, and whatever else you might want to talk about.

Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures.

And did I mention refreshments?

Arial View of the Gardens

Where and When

Remember, Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A Sign

Judi’s Gardens are in Northeast Palm Bay, but west of the Interstate (that’s I-95). If you’re familiar with the area, we will have signs out on Emerson Dr between the Tillman Canal and Americana Blvd, directing you to the Gardens. For more detailed directions, you can:

- Put “Emerson and Bellevue, 32907” in your turn-by-turn mapping program on your smart phone or GPS, or

- Click here for a Google map where you can get driving directions, or

- Click the Contact Me tab above and ask Judi any questions you might have, or

- Follow one of these sets of directions:

Directions from anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay.

Directions from anywhere south of Malabar Road in Palm Bay, or anywhere south of Palm Bay at all, for that matter.

From anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay

If coming from the north, make your way down to Palm Bay Road. Just barely to the west of the I-95 interchange on Palm Bay Road, take Culver Drive south. Culver is a short connector road that will take you to Emerson Drive. Turn left (east) on Emerson…

…or, if you’re coming from West Palm Bay…

Get on Emerson heading east from Minton Road.

Either way, from the north or the west, you’re now heading east on Emerson into the Lockmar subdivision.

Drive through Lockmar on Emerson until you pass Fred Lee Park and cross the Tillman Canal. Start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to Americana Blvd (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

From South Palm Bay, or south of Palm Bay

Make your way to Malabar Road in Palm Bay. From Malabar Road, turn north on Emerson. (If you’re coming up I-95, go west on Malabar Road after you exit the Interstate, to get to Emerson.)

Heading north on Emerson, *as soon as you pass Americana Blvd (there’s a little convenience store on the corner), start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to the bridge over the Tillman Canal (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Thanks!

Thanks to Brent and Sharon at Maple Street Natives, and Dave at Sun Harbor Nursery, for publicizing the event by handing out our leaflets; and especially Teresa at Rockledge Gardens for mentioning us in her E-Leaflet newsletter. And thank you to Busy Bee Lawn and Garden for carrying our leaflets in the Vero Beach area. Please patronize these nurseries — we do!

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

Filed under:

The Open House Report

The Open House was a fantastic success! We had 162 visitors sign the guestbook. It was a non-stop whirlwind. Once the action started, we were so busy that we didn’t have a chance to take pictures. :)

Now they call it Butterfly Education and Awareness Day (BEAD), but it used to be National Butterfly Awareness Day, and that’s our banner that catches visitors’ attention:

Butterfly Education and Awareness Day (BEAD) Banner

The butterfly garden in the front yard is new this year! It got lots of compliments:

New Front Garden

The official greeter…

Lynn the Greeter!

…helps get you signed in, entered for the raffle, and in possession of a helpful handout:

Sign-In for our Visitors

Refeshments were available both days; this was Saturday’s:

Refreshments

A closeup of the wonderful cake:

BEAD Cake

The very first group of visitors (and only one that we got a picture of):

First Visitors

This beautiful metal peacock is new this Open House…

Metal Peacock

…and so are these two companion peacocks.

Metal Peacocks

Thanks to everyone who came, especially Nancy and Bob, who have never missed an Open House. Thank you Vilija for face painting on Sunday. Thank you Charmaine and Perry. And thank you Suzanne the Butterfly Lady for visiting!

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

Filed under:

Open House in the Gardens! Next weekend!

June 6th is Butterfly Education and Awareness Day! And June 6th is also the birthday of Judi’s little, late beagle, Princess Sunni, who inspired Judi’s Butterflies. Join us for a celebration, an Open House in the Gardens on June 6th and 7th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. We should have many species of flying butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises. Tours will include visits inside Butterfly House, where you’ll be able to see butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs up close and personal. (Hint: Bring your camera! And your children.)

Refreshments and Raffles

There will also be complimentary refreshments, including two awesome cakes baked especially for Butterfly Education and Awareness Day (what they look like), and terrific lemonade for a hot day. There will also be small gifts for children ten and younger (so don’t accidentally forget your children :), and free raffles!

Tours, plants for sale, and take pictures!

We will also have limited supplies of butterfly plants — both host and nectar — for sale, and a limited number of eggs or caterpillars for some species for those who buy host plants, or already have a host plant at home! Plants, eggs, and caterpillars are all products of Judi’s Gardens.

Jabebo Earrings

We are proud to be a retailer for Jabebo Earrings. Jabebo makes highly detailed earrings using butterfly and other nature-themed subjects. We will have a wide selection available for purchase:

Jabebo Monarch Earrings

But you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you.

We’ll be on hand to talk about the amazing butterfly life cycle, butterfly plants, what you can do if you want butterflies in your yard, how good a glass of lemonade is on a hot day, and whatever else you might want to talk about.

Remember, you don’t need to buy anything to drop by and take the tour. Or enjoy the refreshments. Please come by! We want to meet you. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures.

And did I mention refreshments?

Where and When

Remember, Saturday and Sunday, June 6th and 7th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

A Sign

Judi’s Gardens are in Northeast Palm Bay, but west of the Interstate (that’s I-95). If you’re familiar with the area, we will have signs out on Emerson Dr between the Tillman Canal and Americana Blvd, directing you to the Gardens. For more detailed directions, you can:

- Put “Emerson and Bellevue, 32907” in your turn-by-turn mapping program on your smart phone or GPS, or

- Click here for a Google map where you can get driving directions, or

- Click the Contact Me tab above and ask Judi any questions you might have, or

- Follow one of these sets of directions:

Directions from anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay.

Directions from anywhere south of Malabar Road in Palm Bay, or anywhere south of Palm Bay at all, for that matter.

From anywhere north of Palm Bay Road, or from West Palm Bay

If coming from the north, make your way down to Palm Bay Road. Just barely to the west of the I-95 interchange on Palm Bay Road, take Culver Drive south. Culver is a short connector road that will take you to Emerson Drive. Turn left (east) on Emerson…

…or, if you’re coming from West Palm Bay…

Get on Emerson heading east from Minton Road.

Either way, from the north or the west, you’re now heading east on Emerson into the Lockmar subdivision.

Drive through Lockmar on Emerson until you pass Fred Lee Park and cross the Tillman Canal. Start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to Americana Blvd (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

From South Palm Bay, or south of Palm Bay

Make your way to Malabar Road in Palm Bay. From Malabar Road, turn north on Emerson. (If you’re coming up I-95, go west on Malabar Road after you exit the Interstate, to get to Emerson.)

Heading north on Emerson, *as soon as you pass Americana Blvd (there’s a little convenience store on the corner), start looking for the signs (see photo above)! If you get to the bridge over the Tillman Canal (barely a hundred yards), you missed the signs! Turn around and head back.

Thanks!

Thanks to Brent and Sharon at Maple Street Natives, and Sandy and Dave at Sun Harbor Nursery, for publicizing the event by handing out our leaflets; and especially Teresa at Rockledge Gardens for mentioning us in her E-Leaflet newsletter. And thank you to Busy Bee Lawn and Garden for carrying our leaflets in the Vero Beach area. Please patronize these nurseries — we do!

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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The 2015 Florida Scrub Jay Festival

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:

Booth at the Scrub Jay Festival

Caterpillar Cube at the Scrub Jay Festival

Butterfly Cube at the Scrub Jay Festival

Visitors at the Scrub Jay Festival

Visitors at the Scrub Jay Festival

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 :)

Posting to Facebook from the Scrub Jay Festival

This is a crowd of people watching the Sulfur pupate, right before their eyes. That was special!

Watching a Sulfur Pupate at the Scrub Jay Festival

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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Come on out to the Scrub Jay Festival, Saturday, February 28th!

Barb Peterson donates her time to promote butterfly awareness. Barb contacted me recently to ask if I would be able to contribute butterflies and caterpillars to an upcoming event that she is involved with. It is early in the season for butterflies and caterpillars, but we are happy to contribute what we do have. Barb’s event is the Scrub Jay Festival, held annually now for 6 years, which, this year, is being held at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday February 28th. Barb has a number of butterfly related activities planned for children which include crafts and a scavenger hunt to find butterflies. She will also have an activity to make seed balls with native milkweed and wildflowers. So grab your children, or go yourself and enjoy the festivities.

You can get more information on the Scrub Jay Festival and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge here:

Florida Scrub-Jay Festival

— posted by Judi · Comment · #

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Welcome to 2015!

UPDATED January 3rd!

Say hello to the first emerged butterfly of 2015, out on New Years Day! In this picture, she seems to be encouraging her brothers and sisters (Monarchs: first, fourth, and fifth rows) and cousins (Queens: second and third rows) to come out and join her! “The weather’s great!”, she seems to be saying.

First Emerged Butterfly of 2015

Update: And now, on January 3rd, we have a pairing of Monarchs!

Monarchs Pairing

…followed a short while later by the female busily laying eggs:

Monarch Laying

— posted by Judi and Greg · Comment · #

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