*whisper, whisper, whisper*
Whoops sorry! The mic was off. Let me start again. Ahem!
Hello there! The name’s Sandy, nice to meet you! I’m a mourning cloak butterfly. Normally butterflies like me are super quiet, but I just had to speak up. Now that spring is here, I’ve overheard a lot of you talking about planting pollinator gardens. Everyone seems to be only talking about flowers, but I have something important to say:
Butterflies like trees too!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good flower as much as the next guy, but lots of you seem to forget that trees are also a butterfly’s BFF. Let me tell you why:
- Trees are like a buffet for butterflies! If I’m feeling hungry, I’ll have my choice of sap, nectar from the flowers or even fruit that’s fallen to the ground. When I was just a young caterpillar I also loved eating tree leaves!
- Trees are a great place for us to lay our eggs. When it’s my time, I’ll probably inspect the underside of each leaf to make sure its just right, but I might also use a loose piece of bark or some mulch nearby.
- Trees protect us from the wind and rain. This is a huge deal because we’re very sensitive to the weather. We can’t fly when we get too wet, and get easily blown off course by a strong wind. But if we have a tree nearby, we can rest there safely until the storm is over.
So, when you’re planning your garden for the year, do me favour: plant a deciduous tree or two! These are the ones that lose their leaves in the fall. They’re our favourites, especially the ones that grow flowers and fruit!
Now, I’m not what you’d call an expert gardener—I think I’d need hands for that—but I’m told the best time to plant trees is in the spring and fall when it’s not too hot out. And that’s coming up…let me just check my calendar…oh wow! That’s now! OK, you better get planting!
Bye for now! I can’t wait to see all the trees you plant!
Sandy, the mourning cloak butterfly.