Summer Camp Fun At Audubon House

On Thursday, June 29, 2017 the Eco-Explorers summer camp from the Manatee Observation & Education Center in Ft. Pierce visited Audubon House and the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) for a day of butterfly education and observation along with kayaking on the Indian River Lagoon.

We had a great time with butterflies both in the classroom and in the field today

We observed eight species of butterflies and two moths, not bad for short excursions not covering a lot of ground or habitat variety. Most sightings were in our butterfly/pollinator gardens.

Butterflies observed included:

Zebra Longwing
Gulf Fritillary
Ceraunus Blue
Cloudless Sulphur
Tropical Checkered Skipper
White Peacock
Black Swallowtail

A hit was the harmless hand capture and release of on of the beautiful gold, white, black, and vivid pink Bella Moth (often called Rattlebox Moth for its host plant). The children were able to see the contrasting colorful spoonbill pink hindwings and how they are hidden at repose by the camouflage patterned forewings.

Fun for children of all ages.

And what did the campers think? According to Erin Lomax from the Manatee Observation & Education Center, “I can’t thank you guys enough, our kids had a wonderful time!”

The new Pelican Island Audubon 15-passenger van driven by Richard Baker hauls the kayaks down to the Oslo Road boat ramp where the campers paddled out into the Indian River Lagoon. The van is a gift from the John’s Island Foundation to help further Pelican Island Audubon’s education programs.

Ken Gonyo gave a short introduction to butterflies in the air-conditioned coolness of the Audubon House classroom before the campers headed out to observe the butterflies of ORCA.

Ken Gonyo, assisted by Diane Morgan, gave the campers a tour of the butterfly/pollinator garden.

A short hike on the South ORCA trail, overgrown from all the recent rains, is where the Bella Moth was seen.

THE campers observe Zebra Longwing butterflies that congregate in the shade of the stand of trees along the front sidewalk.

Down at the Oslo Road boat ramp, the campers get a safety lesson in kayaking before heading out onto the water.

Richard Baker assists the campers in getting the kayaks out onto the water.

The campers paddle out to begin their adventure on the Indian River Lagoon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.