South Fork hosted the Monarch Butterfly release on Saturday, Sept. 15, with a crowd of 40 in attendance. Over half of our guests were children, to the delight of our docents who enjoyed the opportunity to share the magical moments of transformation & release with curious young minds.

The activities centered around the “Tagging Table,” the “Butterfly House,” the art & learning center, “Pin the Pupae” (attaching the pupae to a tree to prepare it for emergence).

The event was directed by Ruth Andre with assistance from Roberta Katz-Messenger, Krissi Graham, and Joyce Hartmann (who provided the beautiful photo journal below). We are grateful for the dedication and passion from these talented ladies!

Enjoy a look!

Ruth Andre and Krissie Graham enjoy a few laughs setting up the butterfly tent… thanks, Ruth, for your absolutely wonderful presentation…more than 50 butterflies to admire, tag, release, and help the population! We had a wonderful turnout, too!

Early morning…crew gets things ready in the wonderful new outdoor education pavilion!

Krissi practices catching butterflies correctly…

At the Tagging Table, the tactical committee got their strategy together…Krissi, Ruth, Roberta Katz-Messenger, and Bob Hartmann.

At the “Life Stages Table”, this Mom showed her children a video of a caterpillar transforming itself into a chrysalis and then emerging as a butterfly, as they looked at the actual caterpillar, chrysalis and brand new butterfly.

Each chrysalis is pinned to the netting; they were all closed in the morning but as you can see many have emerged and are drying their wings. Before the day was over, nearly all had emerged.

I was privileged to help anyone who wanted to hold one of these beautiful jewels and pin it to a leaf; a butterfly will emerge in a few hours or days…we saw several emerge within an hour…children squealed with delight when it happened.

This Monarch is a female…each butterfly had its gender recorded…the male has a black dot on its markings..

Children stepped through the zippered door of the Butterfly Tent just like they were at Hogwarts…

Parents took photos of their children interacting with the butterflies in the Butterfly House..

The coloring table featured different pictures of butterflies, and was popular with many.

Bob placed a numbered tag on the butterfly while the child carefully and properly held it during the procedure.

The most exciting time was when a child released a butterfly in the sunshine…