This is a new project to elevate the need for wise butterfly gardening and non-gardening.
Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus
Butterflies are such poetic messengers, translating the soft and subtle needs of their low-talking plant community friends, captivating an oftentimes oblivious human population with their winged words, flashy and loud- Yes, we are more likely to stop and listen to a frenzied butterfly than a mild-mannered plant- the prophets of the plant world, they demand our attention!
But butterflies are such effective communicators to the importance of fostering all sorts of biodiverse habitats because they depend on several different plant communities as they mature- just as we don’t shop for all of our goods at one store, butterflies require several plant neighborhoods to see them through their transformation from child to adult.
They need plant communities that contain their caterpillar “host plants” – those particular plants that the female adults seek out to lay their eggs on. This way, when the eggs hatch, they are quite literally served breakfast in bed, conserving all their energy to eat and none to forage- such caring mothers!
Butterflies also require adult nectar plant/food plants. Once chrysalis occurs and the fat caterpillars have turned into animated arthropods, these winged adults need to find the pockets of habitat that contain their favorite foods. Often times, host plants and adult food plants are found in different ecosystems; therefore, butterflies literally link together otherwise disjunct habitats with invisible flight paths.
Caterpillar host plants and adult food sources – they need both. We need both. This butterfly card project is for connecting plant to insect- read more under Snail Mail.