A strong interest in butterflies, wanting to see and photograph them was a primary reason for re-landscaping the backyard. Native plants led to Monarch caterpillars which led to raising butterflies and sharing this experience with others. Here are some of the resources I’ve found helpful.
- The Life Cycles of Butterflies – Judy Burris and Wayne Richards. This book by a Louisville, KY sister and brother, focuses on common Kentucky butterflies, host plants, and nectar plants. It’s especially helpful for beginning butterfly enthusiasts.
- Gardening for the Birds – Thomas G. Barnes. This book was quite helpful when we were in the beginning stages of landscaping our backyard. It is as much about gardening for butterflies as for birds.
- Butterflies through Binoculars – the East – Jeffrey Glassberg. This is my favorite butterfly field guide. Guides for the entire U.S. include many species that I’m not likely to see. With its focus on eastern butterflies, this guide makes identification easier. And I like his use of photographs rather than illustrations used in other guides.
- Two excellent websites for learning more about butterflies:
- Raising Black Swallowtail butterflies – I’ve had great fun raising butterflies, and I encourage others to try it. This PDF specifically talks about raising Black Swallowtail butterflies, but many of the tips also apply to other species.
- Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper article – This article is about raising butterflies. It was written by Susan Smith-Durisek, and is based on her interview with me.
- Monarch butterfly resources. Monarchs butterflies face special challenges, and can use all the help we can give them.
- Monarch Waystations – article by Susan Jonas