Get Up Close: Best Places to See Butterflies
See a butterfly land right on your hand, arm or even your head! Children can get up close with hundreds of butterflies in these exhibits and encounters.
Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? Or that when a butterfly lands on you, it’s called lighting? Visiting these encounters or even creating a butterfly garden at home can help children learn about these interesting creatures.
Butterflies are back at the Chattahoochee Nature Center! Surround yourself with native butterflies and learn about these amazing pollinators. Families can also learn about nectar plants, explore the center’s 127 acres, take a wildlife walk, see special exhibits, and enjoy the gardens. Through Aug. 8.
This summer exhibit features native butterflies and their host and nectar plants. Encounter the wonder of butterflies in all stages of life, from egg to adult butterfly. After visiting the butterfly house, visit the pollinator garden where you’ll see butterflies, honeybees, hummingbirds and other pollinators at work.
Over 1,000 butterflies flutter freely in a dynamic, glass-enclosed environment – one of North America’s largest tropical butterfly conservatories. In September, hundreds of iridescent Blue Morpho butterflies will fill the center; the annual Butterfly Festival has crafts, games and activities for all ages.
Invite butterflies into your yard by planting flowers and bushes that attract them, including fennel, parsley, butterfly weed, passion flower and elm trees to host caterpillars. Adult butterflies love butterfly bush, lantana and annual zinnias according to Georgia gardening expert, Walter Reeves.
Burying a plastic basin in the ground filled with wet sand or mud will give the butterflies a moist place to land, drink and bask in the sun, he says. You can also visit the National Wildlife Federation for a list of butterfly garden necessities.
Grow Your Own Butterflies
You can plant caterpillar-friendly plants and wait for butterflies to lay their eggs, then keep watch as caterpillars turn into chrysalis then butterflies. Try one of Insect Lore’s Live Butterfly Kits, which arrive with live caterpillars and their own diet in a plastic, see-through jar. Once the caterpillars become chrysalis, they can be transferred to the mesh habitat that comes with the kit. When they emerge as butterflies, the family can release them into the backyard. Kits are available starting at $27.99.