Friday, January 11, 2008

2008 is a Butterfly Year!

Butterflies in 2008 ... it's an exciting year for Shady Oak Butterfly Farm! Our website has a new look, we added dozens of butterfly informational pages to the site last year, and our newsletter Butterflies! has taken wings.

Searching for a bit of information on a website with over 300 pages was frustrating for our visitors. We were relieved to find a search feature that worked well. Now a visitor can simply enter a word or phrase in the search box and find pages with that information on the page.

Ask Edith is built on questions written to the farm about butterflies and butterfly gardening. Often a question is easy to answer but photos help tremendously. It takes so much time to answer some questions over and over, so we simply build a web page around a question we often receive. We enjoy sharing about butterflies; our passion for butterflies was what gave the farm it's roots and later, the newsletter was established.

We announce new pages on the site with our newsletter. After the newsletter has been published for four to six weeks, it is archived on the site where it can be accessed and read by anyone.

On January 14, the new issue will be published. In that issue is an interview with Judy Burris and Wayne Richards, brother-sister authors of 'Lifecycles of Butterflies'. Their book contains photos of the life cycle of 23 butterflies in the United States; egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult. With additional interesting information (silk from the Question Mark caterpillar is pink) tucked in, it is a fascinating and educational book.

Also included in the next issue is information about how to tell a Soldier and Queen adult butterfly apart as well as Ceraunus Blue and Cassius Blue butterflies.

We were asked, "How can I protect my caterpillars from predators without bringing them inside?" That question is answered in January 14's issue of Butterflies!

One other item in the upcoming newsletter I'd like to mention is reattaching butterfly chrysalises. Sometimes a chrysalis falls and needs to be rehung for the butterfly to emerge. If its silk is attached, it is simple. But if the silk is not attached; it is easy but takes a minute more to reattach it with glue. Most of us glue only the tip of the chrysalis. We look at chrysalises (pupae) glued farther up its shell to see how it effects emerging.

The pages linked in this blog are older pages; new pages are announced in Butterflies! Subscribe today and don't miss an issue! Subscribers simply unsubscribe (if they wish to do so) at the click of a button in the newsletter.

Happy New Year! Edith, Stephen, and our family at Shady Oak

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