Sarasota News Leader


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Sulfurs, Swallowtails, Skippers, Buckeyes, Peacocks, Red Admirals, Monarchs, Queens and Viceroys, along with the occasional American Painted Lady. It is fun to watch them. Male butterflies "pud- dle" in wet areas, siphoning up minerals. One evening at Curry Creek Preserve, a dainty Sulfur circled 'round and 'round me. I won- dered why it was expending so much energy, but then it landed on a sprig of dried grass and fell fast asleep. In fall, I look for migrations of Cloudless Sulphurs, Gulf Fritillaries and Skippers around the state. It is easier to photograph butterflies early in the day before they get too frisky. Because they are cold-blooded, they have to bask in the sun to raise their body temperature. Once in winter, I found a Painted Lady stoking up on a metal tank cover at a service station, absorbing the heat from both sides. Invite them to your yard. Put in a few native plants and they will appear like magic. Zebra Longwings love my wild coffee, a shrub that flowers in spring. (The red berries in fall are a favorite of birds.) Or do nothing. Allow frog fruit, thistle or Spanish needles — all butter- fly fare — to grow in an out-of-the-way place. Lis Hanson Sundberg with a Swallowtail caterpillar. Sarasota News Leader May 16, 2014 Page 102

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