In the winter of 2000 as the new Visitor Center was being installed, several volunteers gathered together and began planting what today is a one acre Butterfly Garden. This is an area that has been planned thoroughly to attract not only the adult butterflies but also the larval form of butterflies, the caterpillar. In order to attract both the caterpillar and the butterfly, special plants must be planted in small masses so that the full butterfly cycle can occur within the park.
When you come out to visit, do not expect to see Butterflies enclosed in a netted enclosure flying around and landing on anything that’s brightly colored. The butterflies you will see are free flying, and come into the garden at their whim. Some years the populations thrive and other years there are hardly any.
Do we have answers as to why this occurs? No, we have not seen any consistent pattern. However, we have noticed that it is critical as to when and how much rainfall we receive and how extreme temperature fluctuations can be.
But typically, by late June, warm sunny days that are not too windy are good conditions for various native species to browse the plants for nectar or to locate that special plant on which to lay its eggs for the next generation to begin its cycle.