October 1997

October always seems like the end of the year for me. The last of the flowers are calling it quits for the season and the monarchs are well on their way south. It is great to hear everyone reporting record numbers of migrators this year. It so often seems that we hear only sad news regarding butterflies. But '97 is definitely an up year for our little winged buddies. If you're a fan of Don Davis and the dplex-l list (as I am) then you'll be right on top of migration year round. And Don, I am still a devoted fan even though you got the name of my book wrong in your survey ! To keep up to date with the migrating monarchs check with Chip Taylor at http://MonarchWatch.org or logon to Dick Walton's site athttp:www.concord.org/~dick/ . Either one will keep you abreast of what the latest developments are. With the Mega Monarch convention in Mexico this November it will be interesting too see if things are as good as they seem for monarchs. Check back with us for all the updates.

In general, despite what many people forwarded to me, I found an increase in local populations, especially swallowtails. It seemed as if I couldn't go anywhere without seeing tons of swallowtails. It was a great year for Tigers and Spicebush and even the Viceroys and Admirals were more plentiful this year. Every species was well represented this year save Painted Ladies and Silvery Checkerspots. But don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. That would be like winning the lottery and arguing that there were not enough twenties mixed in with the fifties and hundred dollar bills at payoff time. Let's be thankful for what we have. Unfortunately many people just do not get the opportunity to spend hours and days in the field just to see what is out there. Jobs and families do not afford them that luxury. Some rascals however (he said, proboscis in cheek) did not have to grow up and they get to butterfly watch whenever they can. Being one of those mentioned, I feel that there was a definite increase in most populations this year. If you're in Washington state and think that you are seeing more butterflies than usual, it may very well be because 1,555 were released at the Washington State fair. The chitin really hit the fan over this one. Even if you do not subscribe to any of the newsgroups, everybody in the butterfly world will feel the repercussions from this event. Some heavy duty scales got ruffled in the process. So sleeves will be rolled up and the tarsi will be flying as the big kids slug this one out. I just hope there is no ear biting during the melee, lets leave that for the pros who get $14 million to do it. Sorry Mr. Tyson, honestly I didn't mean you Sir. You can read more about this and the International Federation Of Butterfly Enthusiasts through our main menu.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding my latest book Garden Butterflies of North America. It was so much fun to write it, but the real rewards came from those who call to say how much they enjoyed it. Many of you wrote to say that you cried, you laughed and it became part of you. I could see that. First you cried at the price - then you laughed at the picture of yours truly in a tie - and hopefully the stories took a little piece of your heart and replaced it with a little piece of my soul. Thank you to all. And for those who haven't had a chance to get a copy check out our main page. It's Christmas buying season already so here's your chance to stock up. Buy one for everyone you know. And don't be afraid to take out sizable loans to buy the book for every one of your relatives.

You obviously enjoy butterflies or you would not be at this website. So by this time, unless you found a rock to hide under, you have heard the song Butterfly Kisses. Well how many of you know that the butterfly kisses are wrapped in silver and made from chocolate. Well from now on they are! We have just learned from our Uneducated sources that ALL candy is BAD for you EXCEPT the stuff from Hershey Foods. Honestly, it is good for you, butterflies and little Ricky Mikula. So buy all you can! We are extremely happy to announce that we are currently constructing a butterfly atrium at the Hershey Gardens in none other than Hershey Pennsylvania - Chocolate Town USA. And they thought success smelled sweet. Try a walk down Main Street. The Hershey Gardens are 28 acres of gorgeous plantings including 7,000 roses. Other gardens include perennials, annuals, spring bulbs and we even have a giant sequoia and ponds and fountains. What more could you ask for. The structure itself is very Victorian and quite impressive and will house North American species. What we have in the United States should not be overlooked. Tropicals are beautiful, but there are too many wonderful indigenous species that go unnoticed. You will be able to track the developments through my personal web page and this site or you could directly logon to the Hershey Museum and Garden site at http://www.hersheymuseum.microserve.net So stay in touch and watch us emerge. We plan a Mothers Day opening and we hope to see you there. The whole area is just filled with great things to do and is in one of the nicest parts of PA. Bring the family because we are just across the street from Hershey Park and Zoo America. Gee, I will even wear a TIE for the opening ceremonies. Naturally it will be the coolest butterfly tie you ever saw !!!!!

If you are in the area of Allentown PA around October 18th and 19th stop in a learn how to Migrate with the Monarchs. We will be having a arts and crafts festival with a focus on butterflies. Cedar Crest Park is beautiful in October and it will the perfect day to get out an appreciate Allentown at its finest while meeting some wonderful craft people, as well as a few crafty people, such as yours truly. So stop by and I'll talk your ear off. Sorry again Mr. Tyson I should have said I'll talk you antenna off. It will be a nice day to say good-bye to our winged friends until next summer.

Not all the great things are happening in Pennsylvania this year. I would like to remind you that there are still some vacancies available for our trip to Costa Rica. The tour runs from January 4th until the 10th 1998. If you would like to see 800 species of birds, 1200 species of orchids, monkeys, parrots, beautiful sunsets, white water rafting, volcanoes, and more butterflies than you can imagine, then come along. Not only will you be accompanied by some of the best butterfly breeders from the US, but you will be visiting the best breeders Costa Rica has to offer. Talk about a place to learn the best techniques, there could be no place better than in the rainforest of Costa Rica. We include hotel, transportation, two meals a day, an air conditioned van, all entrance fees, shopping and night life for only $675 per person. That's cheaper than staying at home.

Come on - you know you always wanted to go to Costa Rica so here's your chance. The itinerary can be found in our main menu. Your dollars will be going to support the people who need it the most. Joris and Maria are wonderful hosts and every trip is sheer delight especially when they serve Tamarind tea at lunch. You could also visit with them at http://www.butterflyfarm.co.cr See what you will be getting yourself into. I must warn you however to go on a diet before you go. The food is wonderful and if you are vegetarian you'll be in heaven. If you are interested you can e-mail me through the Web Site. We would love to have you experience how wonderful this country is. After a day or two you will climb to the top of the volcano Poas and yell for all to hear.

I have been involved with butterflies for some time now and every year gets better and better. It seems that more and more schools are putting in butterfly gardens. Scout troops are even considering butterfly merit badges. However butterfly awareness is taking over the entire country if not the world. Fortunately it is at a this time that they need us the most. Their habitats continue to diminish and populations disappear. With all the current trends regarding butterflies perhaps the destructive behavior affecting them will be reversed. If you haven't done anything for butterflies in your community, maybe should. At every presentation someone remarks to me that there seems to be less and less butterflies than there were years ago. Of course that's true because there are more and more people using up their habitats. Just can't suck macadam through a proboscis. Even if you have planted a perfect butterfly garden in your yard you may not be getting butterflies to visit. Your garden maybe the only one in town or on your block. The passing butterflies will never get to see it. What we need to encourage is people to plant gardens wherever possible. We must construct a biotic bridge from the forest into our towns and cities. That is why there are more species of butterflies in Alaska than in Hawaii. They do not have that bridge of nectar and host plants for them to continue on. So if you want butterflies in your garden make sure your neighbors plant gardens too. It is a great project for kids, scouts and schools to do for the community. Have the kids do up a garden at a local nursing home. The folks there would really appreciate it. It may be their only chance to reflect back on days that they thought would never end. Not only would they enjoy the presence of children on the property, but they will reap the rewards of butterflies and the warm memories they bring. Heck we'll even give you a web page to brag about it.

So thank you for allowing me a few minutes of you time and don't look up. The hawks are migrating also this time of year and they don't care where the frass drops.

May Your Life Be Filled With Wings


... Butterfly WebSite Home Page

Last Updated: Oct 17, 1997: butterfly@mgfx.com
© copyright 1995-1997 Mikula Web Solutions; all rights reserved.