Thursday, May 26, 2011

Butterfly Cafe

Today, six year old Jonah bought a an old copy of Spider Magazine (June 1997) from the used book store at school. He was very excited when he found an article about making your own butterfly cafe. The article talked about butterflies and how important they are to our planet because they pollinate flowers. It said that butterflies are disappearing from many parts of the world, but that you can make your yard a safe and inviting "cafe" for these beautiful creatures. This is a great project for the whole family!

The article said to look for a sunny place in your yard. Butterflies are cold-blooded. They need sun to keep them warm. Place several dark rocks there. They love to bask on stones heated by the sun. Butterflies need water. You can dig out a shallow hollow in the ground and fill it with water, or place a plate with only enough water in it to barely cover the bottom. Place a few small rocks in it for them to sit on. Most importantly plant lots of colorful flowers like zinnias, phlox, daisies, cone flowers, brown-eyed susans, marigolds and butterfly bush.. Nectar from flowers is their primary food. Many plants at garden centers are marked to let you know they attract butterflies.

To Attract butterflies you can also try making this butterfly bait. This recipe was also in Jonah's magazine. He had to make it right away!

what you need:

  • 1/2 cup of soft ripe fruit (we used kiwi, but bananas, pears or apples would work too)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 4 tablespoons of cola

Stir ingredients together. Pour into a small plate. Place it onto a larger plate. Fill the larger plate with water. This will keep crawling bugs out like a moat. Set the mixture in the sun for about a day. It will start to ferment and give off a strong sweet, fruity Oder that will attract the butterflies. We added a few rocks for the butterflies to sit on as well. (We just put ours out tonight, so we will let you know how well it works.) Once you have butterflies in your "cafe", you may want to try making our butterfly feeder.

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  1. This is such a great idea! I love butterflies fluttering in the garden, will give this ago!

  2. I love this idea! Thanks so much for the butterfly information. I can't wait to make the butterfly feeder from your last year's post. :-) Plus, I had just purchased a 'butterfly plant' from a nursery, so I'm all set to go!

  3. That sounds like a wonderful idea! Do you have a problem with it also attracting bees? I was wondering since my little one is allergic. Thanks HM!