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Southern Inspirations
Butterfly Watching - How to Get Started
There are some suggestions to get you started in the hobby of butterfly watching. Though butterfly watching can be done alone, it is recommended that you go with a buddy. Accidents do happen and if you should happen to fall and sustain injuries, the buddy system will work for you. There are differing opinions on what colour clothing is best for butterfly watching.

Some say you should wear browns and greens so that you blend in and will not scare the butterflies away. Others recommend wearing bright colours to attract the butterflies. White clothing would cause the butterflies to see you from a distance and fly away. You might want to bring along binoculars and a notebook to record what you found while you were butterfly watching. You might want to keep a record of the species you find, notes about their habitat and food plants available where you found the butterflies.

If you are just beginning butterfly watching, start out by going out on bright, warm, sunny days when the butterflies are active. Look for them in backyards, wetlands, meadows, woods, places where there is fruit or anywhere you see brightly coloured flowers. You are sure to see those delightful "flying flowers" around somewhere during your butterfly watching adventures.

Other things to consider as a beginning lepidopterist are: habitat and season, variation in butterflies, fine details, flight style, posture, shape, size, and wing patterns. All of this is important to be able to identify your butterfly. Some moths are active by day and are very colourful, so it could make telling them apart from the butterfly a little harder. Butterflies have four wings, a club at the tip of each antenna, and a different pattern on each side of the wing.

You can make your hobby more interesting by travelling to different areas that allow butterfly watching. Parks, ponds, wild life refuges, zoos, drainage ditches, and roadsides with wild flowers are some of the inexpensive places to observe your new interest. As you become more involved in butterfly watching, you might enjoy the many different festivals around the world.

If you enjoy crafts, the list of things you can make that relate to the butterfly are endless. This is also a way to share your new adventures with others. You can make useful and pretty crafts for low-cost gifts: t-shirts, posters, framed photographs of the butterfly that you took yourself, paintings, pottery, and much more.

Collecting Butterflies

Capturing and mounting butterflies for collecting as a hobby is no longer encouraged. However, the Field Museum in Chicago has collected over 90,000 specimens of butterfly from all over the world . Besides visiting the museum, you can also join groups like the North American Butterfly Association or the Lepidopterist Society and subscribe to journals like the Journal of Lepidopterists' Society.

If you would like to begin a bug collection, just be kind enough not to torture or kill the butterflies on purpose. The humane thing to do is to find the ones that have already perished. It may take more time, but it can be just as rewarding to watch your collection grow in a decent way.

If you want to display your butterfly collection for others to admire and gain a chance to help someone else appreciate the butterfly watching hobby, you should invest in a display case of some sort that will keep curious hands away from your precious insects. It is very easy to harm a butterfly's structure because of their frail anatomy. A case with a glass door would allow easy viewing and keep hands and dust from contaminating your collection.

Facts About ButterfliesFacts about butterflies and butterfly watching. As more and more natural butterfly habitats are being destroyed, the awareness for the need to protect and conserve butterflies and their natural habitat seems to be at least one reason for an increased interest in butterfly watching.

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