Winter Texan Times

3 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 19, 2022 Butterflying dominates Valley next weekend The National Butterfly Center is honored to host the 26th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival and provide attendees a remarkable and rewarding outdoor experience. Registrants will spend three days exploring renowned public lands and private properties with world-class trip leaders, where you may reasonably expect to see more than 60 species in a day. Renowned for a volume and variety of wild, free-flying butterflies that cannot be found anywhere else in the country, deep south Texas is home to the country’s premier butterfly event featuring field trips and educational activities for beginners to experts, private garden and guided hot spot tours, the North American Butterfly Photo Contest, and a free community day of fun for everyone. Attendees typically hail from half of the 50 states and multiple countries. They converge on the National Butterfly Center, in the Rio Grande Valley, to experience one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America. Come see for yourself why this region has earned worldwide recognition for its outstanding butterfly and birding spots, inviting thousands of visitors each year to discover its remarkable assortment of preserves, refuges, nature parks, trails, and more. Whether you are an accomplished naturalist or an enthusiastic beginner, the Texas Butterfly Festival is the place to be. Here, many eyes make for exciting discoveries, including U.S. records, super rarities, subtropical strays, seldom-seen species, ‘lifer’ and chase butterflies that may only be found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), where the river winds its way toward the Laguna Madre at the Gulf of Mexico. This unique region encompasses no fewer than 11 types of habitats, from tidal wetlands to riparian forest, brushland scrub to prairie savanna, and is home to more than 1,200 different species of plants, 500 species of birds, 200 vertebrate species, roughly 300 species of butterflies, and over 90 species of dragonflies. This year presents a special opportunity, as October 29th will also kick off the Biennial Members’ Meeting of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). This combined festival-meeting at the National Butterfly Center occurs every six years. While it provides NABA members a unique opportunity to visit (or revisit) their capstone project, it also See BUTTERFLIES pg. 7 Photo by Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg