Other trips during the season both on weekends and weekdays, will be to spot butterflies and learn to identify some of the more than seventy species found on the Cape. Each species needs a particular plant as a food plant for its caterpillar stage, and other plants for its adult stage. We will be learning what wild plants are important to conserve so that butterflies will continue to inhabit our fields and gardens. Not only are butterflies pretty, fragile and intriguing, they are also important pollinators of the plants they feed on.
Butterflies are one of the delights of nature that seem to increase in number as you look for them. Their colors, shapes, and flight patterns are in limitless variety. Learn their seasons, habitats, favorite plants and life cycles and you have another reason to be glad to be alive and part of nature's designs.
Butterflies are pollinators, and just as important as bees, wasps, other insects and birds. They and their caterpillar larvae are links in the food chain -- caterpillars eat plants, and caterpillars and butterflies are eaten by birds, other insects, and frogs. They also brighten our world, induce us to see and empathize with the fragile and the exquisite. Butterflies were thought by the ancient Greeks to represent the souls of humans. The word psyche was used for both butterfly and soul.
Butterfliers of Massachusetts are invited to join the Massachusetts Butterfly Club and the North American Butterfly Association of which it is a chapter. Membership in both costs $30. annually. Those joining NABA-MBC for the first time should make their check payable to "NABA" and send it to MBC, 198 Purchase St., Milford, MA 01757.
Zebra (Heliconius charitonius) photo by Alison Robb
Back to Home Page