Sunday, August 07, 2005

Releasing butterflies

Just wanted to show everyone that releasing hundreds of butterflies isn't an easy job. This is a photo of Everglades National Park fire crew, Hillary Cooley and intern Elizabeth Cukor, dressed in field clothes, boots and mosquito zoot-suits on July 23, 2005. They helped me, also elegantly dressed in a matching ensemble, release several hundred atalas. The bins contained pupae and larvae; adults had been released earlier. We traipsed over miles of pine rockland, in the back country of ENP, and mapped exact locations of coontie plants and atala releases using Global Positioning System (GPS.)

The heat index was 106 degrees. You gotta love the little critters to put up with that, eh?

And this photo is me, clad in similar chic attire, on Andros Island, Bahamas, where I went to study an untouched wild population of atalas. My perfume, Eau de Deet, allowed me to forgo with the delicate veils that Elizabeth and Hillary are sporting above. That's Stafford Creek in the background, not the ocean. Too bad you can't see my braids. Made hair care a breeze for the week, but took me four hours to unravel when I got back to South Florida! I'll be posting pictures of the island atalas in future pages.

Next ENP release is "scheduled" for sometime next weekend. The atalas run the show, however, so it may or may not be on my preferred time.

If you haven't yet seen an atala, be sure to attend the next Broward County North American Butterfly Association (NABA) meeting, to be held this Thursday, August 11, 2005 at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Broward County Library , 3151 Stirling Road, Hollywood, just west of I-95. I'll be presenting a PowerPoint program, "Butterflies, Botany and Battlefields," about the atala, the coontie and how the incredible history of Fort Lauderdale impacted the butterfly's fragile survival (lots of cool pix.) We'll also be briefly discussing the family traits of Lycaenids this month. Hope to see everyone there!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure I wanna see this ;)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

woops that was me ;)

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool stuff Nana!!!!!
Carrie, Morgan and Kaleigh

1:03 PM  
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11:55 PM  
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11:56 PM  

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