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News : 2009 Butterfly Encounter

2009 Butterfly Encounter
by Melissa Shepson
Butterfly Count 2009

The 2009 Butterfly Encounter was held on Saturday, July 18 from 9:00-4:00 at the Eli Lilly Tippecanoe County Laboratory’s Wildlife Habitat Area in Lafayette. The success of an event such as this is based in large part upon the level of excitement and enthusiasm of the participants, so by that measure this year was a true success! Our registration indicates that we had between 100-110 people participating. The property looked quite beautiful with an abundant display of wildlife and a wide variety of wildflowers in bloom.

We changed the schedule of the event this year and began with a point and shoot photography workshop facilitated by entomology department alum, Gene White. White spends a portion of his time as a photography consultant specializing in insect images. The workshop included an introductory lecture with some demonstration techniques, followed by hands-on group activities and a question and answer session dedicated to questions from the attendees.

Participants broke for a picnic lunch provided by Eli Lilly and Company, followed by a welcome, introductions and a brief tutorial, and then groups went out to scout and count butterflies. Because of the lower temps and overcast skies, the numbers were somewhat lower than in previous years. There were 31 species represented and a total of 447 butterflies noted (complete results of the count can be found by clicking here).

The department sends a big thank you to Gene White for his contribution to the day’s activities and I would like to extend a note of gratitude to the members of the department who came out to help with the event: Larry Bledsoe, Diego F. Echeverri, Gloria I. Giraldo, Jeff Holland, Jonathan Neal, Julia Prado, Kapil Raji, Cliff Sadof, Tom Turpin, Janice Van Zee and Steve Yaninek; in addition, special thanks to Arwin Provonsha for his help with organization prior to the event.