All-A-Flutter Butterfly Farm*, located on Clinard Farms Road, set up a stand at Art-in-the-Arboretum yesterday. They gave presentations to show the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and to tell about what the butterflies need at each step in the cycle. The above monarchs are in a butterfly box being nurished and kept well hydrated. The red and orange circles at the bottom are a Gatorade mixture. The butterflies need it because they can get dehydrated and need electrolytes replaced, especially during migration.
It is anticipated that the monarch butterflies will be coming through Greensboro in about 16 days, en route to Mexico. At that time, All-A-Flutter will release their monarchs so that they can join with the other butterflies. A UNC Charlotte doctoral student, Angel Hjarding, has started a Butterfly Highway conservation project where she encourages people to plant sustainable perennial pollinator gardens so that pollinators, like the monarchs, can eat. You can monitor the Blue Highway planting progress in Greensboro by visiting Hjarding's website, Butterfly Highway.
For people entering the workforce in the 21st century, this is an example of the new work paradigm. People are finding small projects that they are passionate about, projects that may start out as a service learning or a student research, but result in engaging careers. All-A-Flutter Farms is an example of creating a small business into a project with positive environmental impact. And, Hjarding's project is now part of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation-- quite a legacy for her and something great for biodiversity. Finally, we close out today showing you a box of monarch cocoons that should all be morphed into butterflies in time to join the mid-October, annual migration. We learned from All-A-Flutter that the darker the cocoon, the sooner the butterfly will emerge. How wonderful to have all that free science yesterday in the Greensboro Arboretum. Teachers, if you are reading this post, we encourage you to dust off your copy of Eric Carle's, The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
* read more, here.