Beautiful Butterflies Abound
Year-round tours of butterfly house keep guests gazing
My children and I saw a beautiful array of yellow-and-blackstriped zebra longwings, and pipevines with their jewel-like wings,” enthuses Terri Brown. The Cape Coral resident is speaking of her family’s recent tour of the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House at the city’s Rotary Park. “It was a great experience, and we learned a lot about the four stages of the lives of butterflies,” Brown adds. The hour-long tour is conducted inside the screened butterfly house, which holds an array of butterflies and also has blooming flowers. Honey Phillips is a senior recreation specialist with Cape Coral Parks & Recreation. She explains that the tours, which are given year-round, “offer a chance to see a variety of Florida native butterflies, such as monarchs, zebra longwings, pipevine swallowtails, Atalas, Polydamus and Julias.” In addition to providing visitors a chance to see and learn about these fascinating winged insects, the house offers the butterflies something in return—protection from predators as they transform from egg to butterfly. Eventually all of the butterflies are released into the colorful gardens that make up part of the park’s 96 acres.
Tour guests also learn about the environmental importance of butterflies as pollinators. And they can gain helpful tips on how to attract butterflies to their own gardens.
Free tours of the butterfly house take place on Monday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m., courtesy of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife. That is the organization that provided the butterfly house and continues to care for it.
The tours are free yet monetary donations are gratefully accepted, Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife members note. And because the butterfly house is screened, park visitors can, of course, see the butterflies at any time.