Observation of the week – June 29 - July 5, 2020

We’re into the second month of our 2020 CVC Butterfly Blitz, and together we’ve recorded over 550 observations of 45 butterfly species. Thank you to everyone who has been getting outside and taking pictures!

Our fifth OOTW is this Baltimore Checkerspot from Butterfly Blitzer @marcjohnson and his family who spent their Canada Day doing a Big Butterfly Day in the Credit River Watershed, looking for butterflies at different CVC properties. The Johnsons “have enjoyed doing weekend hikes throughout covid-19, and the butterfly blitz has given these hikes new purpose and focus. The kids are loving butterflying and natural history more than they have ever before.”

Marc’s kids, Oscar (11) and Mae (14), get the credit for finding the Baltimore Checkerspot. Oscar was the first to spot it and comment on how amazing it looked, but it got away from him. Marc says: “Mae spotted it again later and describes her thought as: ‘wow, that’s the really pretty thing that Oscar saw and I better catch it’. When she caught it, she thought ‘it was gorgeous and she was excited to catch a new species for our count’”.

Baltimore Checkerspots are usually found in wet meadows where Turtlehead plants are found – the main food source for their caterpillars. They are an uncommon species in our area but can be very locally abundant in the right habitat. This was the case for the area of Caledon Lake where the Johnsons saw their checkerspot; they saw five more individuals in the same location after the one that Mae caught.

The Johnson’s Big Butterfly Day was not just fun for the family, but also contributed towards a good cause. Although they had planned the day a few weeks earlier, at the last minute they decided to tie it in with a fundraising challenge “to raise awareness for the project and the great work CVC is doing”.

“We proposed donating $5 per species anticipating about 20 species but offered to double the amount if 5 others matched our donation. We ended up confirming 24 species, and 6 people matched us … In the end we raised $960.” Wow! A big THANK YOU to Marc, Reagan, Mae, and Oscar as well as the six other contributors.

If the Johnsons have inspired you, more information about the CVC Foundation can be found here: https://cvcfoundation.ca/ - including information on how to donate as well as specific ongoing projects and campaigns.

Posted by lltimms lltimms, July 06, 2020 19:02

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