Class Sessions on Tuesdays: October 1, 8, and 15, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at a Central Austin location
Field Trips: Sundays, October 6 and 13, 10:00 AM – Noon
If you enjoy watching colorful flying creatures but would occasionally like to skip the cold, damp, early mornings that many birds prefer, your schedule may sync better with butterflies. These sunshine-loving denizens of gardens and meadows are not just pretty additions to a garden but an integral part of the ecosystem’s fauna. Varied enough to be interesting, yet not so diverse as to be overwhelming when it comes to identification, butterflies are a worthy subject for study both on their own merits and as a complement to other wildlife observation. Their conspicuous daytime activities make them easy and fun to observe, often at fairly close range.
The class will include an introduction to the major families of butterflies, their predators, behaviors, challenges, life cycles, and survival strategies. After a general orientation to the lepidopteran world, participants will delve more deeply into identification, learning to recognize different butterflies and caterpillars by their appearance, habits, and host plant preferences. Whether you want to improve your understanding of the insects, create a more informed butterfly garden, better recognize species in the field, or capture enhanced photographic images thanks to knowing your quarry more thoroughly, this class will not only answer many questions, but also reveal the beauty and elegance of butterflies.
Valerie Bugh is a recognized Austin naturalist specializing in area arthropods. She has expertise as well in taxonomy and photography. Val runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, provides insect/spider identifications, gives talks to local organizations, teaches entomology classes, and has published pocket guides to “Butterflies of Central Texas” and “Spiders of Texas.” Website: www.austinbug.comOne of her favorite butterfly books is the “Kaufman Focus Guides: Butterflies of North America” (Jim Brock & Kenn Kaufman). Val will alsoprovide access tohandouts about host plants, species lists, and ID tips.
The class tuition is $60 for Travis Audubon members and $75 for non-members. Registration is limited to 20 participants.