We bid farewell and safe journey to our friends, the native butterflies that have been living in our Shippee Family Eyecare Butterfly House since late June.
This exhibit, like the butterflies themselves, changes with the weather. We stop ordering pupae the first week in September. Colder weather and shorter days also slows the rate of mating and egg laying that would normally occur. By mid-September any remaining butterflies need to be released, which is what we did on September 8.
Depending on the species, butterflies live only a few weeks. Most of our butterflies live their entire (short) adult lives in the butterfly house. The butterfly house has all of the necessary nectar and feed plants so that butterflies can lay eggs and those larvae can eventually metamorphose into butterflies. Within the bounds of a human created system, we try to create an environment that allows the butterfly life cycle to self perpetuate during the course of the summer.
While this butterfly house is not a conservation effort, per se, it is an exhibit, which we hope will encourage our visitors to be more conservation minded. We encourage visitors to become familiar with the many species of butterflies native to northern Vermont and the plants that feed and host them from egg to pupae to butterfly.
Our Butterfly House creates an environment for these delicate creatures to thrive and reproduce, so you can observe every stage of their life cycle during the summer. In the fall, when the colder air approaches, we carefully take in any eggs and release the remaining butterflies. Monarchs migrate many thousands of miles to overwinter in warmer climates.
We’ll welcome them back in June 2021!