Attention, lepidopterists: what’s the flap?

HARLEMVILLE—The Farmscape Ecology Program Butterfly House completed the third weekend of its open house last July 10, a perfect day for observing the insects up close. This is the second year of the butterfly house at the Creekhouse center on 1075 Harlemville Road, where several species were showcased, from the charismatic yellow swallowtail to a green clouded sulphur butterfly.

Biologist Dylan Cipkowski and his interns go to the fields and meadows of Hawthorne Valley Thursdays to collect specimens which they put in the netted enclosure for Friday and Saturday viewing.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail looks for an opening in the Farmscape Ecology Program Butterfly House. The butterflies are released into their habitat Saturday nights.

At the end of the day Saturday, the butterflies are released back to the open space.

Mr. Cipkowski said that the Farmscape Ecology Program has documented about 90 species of butterflies in Columbia County and 650 species of moths, which are genetically very similar.

The butterfly house is open during July on Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.to 1 p.m. August hours are to be determined.

Moths and butterflies are genetically very close: at the lower center in the photo is a Virginia Ctenucha moth.

Admission is free and registration is not required. The Creekhouse also features a native plant garden and short nature trail loop. Guided tours are offered on the hour and visitors are also invited for self-guided exploration.

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