Community wel­comed to home filled with but­ter­flies

Souderton Independent - - OPINION - By Jen­nifer Con­nor

.nRZOHGJH DbRuW buWWHUfliHs and their habi­tats was plen­ti­ful last week­end, when Dave and Au­drey Hard­ing opened up their Soud­er­ton home for vis­i­tors from the community to en­joy WKHiU FRunWOHss buWWHUfliHs.

Rang­ing from Mon­archs to the cater­pil­lars that sprout them, the Hard­ings seem to have all the small beau­ti­ful crea­tures of the world in­hab­it­ing their prop­erty. Au­drey, a life­long baby sit­ter and child care­taker, al­lowed the chil­dren she watched to learn about WDNinJ FDUH RI WKH buWWHUfliHs DnG how to play with them gen­tly.

Au­drey re­cently re­tired from tak­ing care of chil­dren in her Soud­er­ton home, but two of the boys she’s watched since birth still stop by to play with the buWWHUfliHs. AusWin 0F1iFKROs, 8, and Spencer McNi­chols, 13, were on hand on Satur­day, Aug. 18, and Sun­day, Aug. 19, to help show the chil­dren and adults KRZ WR KROG buWWHUfliHs in D ZDy that wouldn’t harm them.

There were also lessons on cater­pil­lars, which hung in a ZRRGHn DnG ZiUH “buWWHUfly house” on the Hard­ings’ prop­erWy. CRPPu­niWy PHPbHUs fiOWHUHG in all af­ter­noon from 1 to 4 p.m. to learn as much as they could about the lit­tle crea­tures.

Ken Moyer, of Har­leysville, was also in at­ten­dance to help the Hard­ings with the crowd. He told in­ter­ested guests about the GHFOinH in WKH 0RnDUFK buWWHUfly pop­u­la­tion due to a de­cline of the in­te­gral milk­weed plant pop­u­laWiRn. 0RnDUFK buWWHUfliHs DFWuDOly lay their eggs on the milk­weed plant so the baby cater­pil­lars can munch on its leaves. This in turn makes the cater­pil­lars a deadly catch for any bird look­ing for break­fast be­cause milk­weed acts as a poi­son, Car­diac Gly­co­sides, that isn’t pi­ous­ness to cater­pil­lars but is to their preda­tors.

The Hard­ings also showed a video about the life of the MonDUFK buWWHUfly in WKH OiYinJ URRP RI their house, invit­ing all at­ten­dees to en­joy the video about a hid­den place in Mex­ico where the Mon- archs hi­ber­nate in the win­ter. The Hard­ings once trav­elled down to An­gangueo, Mex­ico, about a IRuU- WR fiYH-KRuU GUiYH nRUWKZHsW of Mex­ico City, to wit­ness the phe­nom­e­non of mil­lions, maybe HYHn biOOiRns, RI buWWHUfliHs fluWWHUinJ DURunG WKH WUHHs DnG flRZHUs out­side of this re­mote vil­lage.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent pho­tos — SU­SAN KEEN

Au­drey Hard­ing ex­plains the Monarch life­cy­cle to Spencer and Austin McNi­chols and Cas­sidy Gul­ley inside of the Hard­ings’ but­ter­fly house next to their home in Soud­er­ton.

A Monarch but­ter­fly rests on a sun­flower inside the but­ter­fly house out­side of the Hard­ings’ home in Soud­er­ton.

Austin McNi­chols and Cas­sidy and Sadie Gul­ley peer into the but­ter­fly house out­side of David and Au­drey Hard­ings’ home in Soud­er­ton as Au­drey Hard­ing places stick­ers on newly emerged Monarch but­ter­flies to mark their age.

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