“Entomology extends the limits of being in new directions, so that I walk in nature with a sense of greater space and freedom. It suggests, besides, that the universe is not rough-hewn, but perfect in its details. Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf and take an insect view of its plane.”—Henry David Thoreau.
In popular esteem the butterflies among the insects are what the birds are among the higher animals—the most attractive and beautiful members of the great group to which they belong. Entomology happens to be the branch of zoology focussing on the study of insects. Butterflies are primarily day fliers (diurnal) and remarkable for the delicacy and beauty of their membranous wings, covered with myriads of tiny scales that overlap one another like the shingles on a house and show an infinite variety of hue through the coloring of the scales and their arrangement upon the translucent membrane running between the wing veins. It is this characteristic structure of the wings that gives to the great order of butterflies and moths its name “Lepidoptera”, meaning scale-winged.
Ronald R. Hooper states that 160 species of butterflies are known in Saskatchewan, in families known as skippers, swallowtails, whites, sulphurs, marbles, hairstreaks, harvester, metalmarks, brushfooted butterflies, meadow browns, and coppers (see bibliography for scientific nomenclature). Every fall the Monarchs journey from Canada to California or Mexico, and they return to Canada in the spring. During this migration phone Nature Saskatchewan’s toll-free line at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668) to report any Monarch Butterfly sightings. When you are out and about this season, keep an ear out, do tell if there is the slightest murmuration when the butterflies migrate past.
And, whereas, the Monarch is known to migrate, this is not the case with all butterflies. Most of the Swallowtails pass the winter as chrysalids while practically all the Angle-wings pass the winter as adults. The Graylings and the Fritillaries are typical examples of butterflies which hibernate as newly hatched larvae. Many species simply find such shelter as they may at or near the soil surface, others may hibernate under boards, stones, or tufts of grass. The Swallowtails, nearly all of which hibernate in the chrysalis stage. Other examples are the various Whites, the Orange-tips, and isolated species like the Wanderer, and the Spring Azure and the American Copper. Now, an adult butterfly seems a fragile creature to endure the long cold months of winter, however many of our most beautiful species habitually hibernate as adults, finding shelter in such situations as hollow trees, the crevices in rocks, the openings beneath loose bark or even the outer bark on the under side of a large branch.
The butterflies furnish the best known examples of insect transformations. The change from the egg to the caterpillar or larva, from the caterpillar to the pupa or chrysalis, and from the chrysalis to the butterfly or imago is doubtless the most generally known fact concerning the life histories of insects. If you do not know the name of the lepidoptera larva, butterfly or moth that you have found, try to take a photograph of it. Identify your sighting at this web site which features an image gallery. If you have a photo of a caterpillar send in information about the plant that the caterpillar was found upon to Butterflies and Moths of North America and help to grow the database.
Learn about Butterflies Day Tuesday March 14.
“The study of butterflies,—creatures selected as the types of airiness and frivolity,—instead of being despised, will some day be valued as one of the most important branches of biological science.”—Bates, Naturalist on the Amazons.
Canadian Geography and Butterfly Distribution. Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility. CBIF
Forte, Theresa M. Butterfly Gardens can be Elegant. Landscape Saskatchewan.
Froehlich, Shirley. Milkweeds and Monarchs. Prairie Originals
Holland, William Jacob. The butterfly book A popular guide to a knowledge of the Butterflies of North America. 1898. Garden City New York Doubleday, Page and Company.
- The Butterflies of North America North of Mexico.
Family I. Nymphalidae, the Brush-footed Butterflies
- Subfamily Euplaeinae, the Milkweed Butterflies
- Subfamily Ithomiinae, the Long-winged Butterflies
- Subfamily Heliconiinae, the Heliconians
- Subfamily Nymphalinae, the Nymphs
- Subfamily Satyrinae, the Satyrs, Meadow-browns, and Arctics
- Subfamily Libytheinae, the Snout-butterflies
- Family II. Lemoniidae
- Subfamily Erycininae, the Metal-marks
- Family III. Lycaenidae
- Subfamily Lycaeninae, the Hair-streaks, the Blues, and the Coppers
- Family IV. Papilionidae, the Swallowtails and Allies
- Subfamily Pierinae, the Whites, the Sulphurs, the Orange-tips
- Subfamily Papilioninae, the Parnassians and Swallowtails
- Family V. Hesperiidae, the Skippers
- Subfamily Pyrrhopyginae
- Subfamily Hesperiinae, the Hesperids
- Subfamily Pamphilinae
- Subfamily Megathyminae, genus Megathymus
Hooper, Ronald R. Butterflies and Moths. Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina. 2006
Hot, dry weather yields blizzard of butterflies. Bugs go through 3-5 generations in 1 summer. CBC News. Aug 11, 2016
Identify a Butterfly, Moth or Caterpillar. Butterflies and moths of North America.
It is prime butterfly time in Saskatchewan. CBC News. August 2, 2016
Monarch Butterflies start their migration in Saskatchewan. Weyburn this week. August 12, 2016
Monarch Butterfly Cycle. Homeschool Travelers. World Wide Traveling.
Monarchs and milkweed. Nature Conservancy of Canada NCC
Places to find milkweed in Sask. to conserve Monarch butterflies CBC News. April 2, 2016
Walk through the Prairie Getting to know Canada.
“What hand would crush the silken-wingèd fly,
The youngest of inconstant April’s minions,
Because it cannot climb the purest sky,
Where the swan sings,
amid the sun’s dominions?
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or garden a man has time for meditation and indeed his very act is devotion. He becomes in tune with the Infinite. The miracle of growth and the seasons’ changes induce a sense of wonderment and call forth worship from his inner being and in this sense WORK becomes WORSHIP.~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.
For more information:
P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map
Should you wish to help protect / enhance the afforestation areas, please contact the City of Saskatoon, Corporate Revenue Division, 222 3rd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5…to support the afforestation area with your donation please state that your donation should support the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, or the George Genereux Urban Regional Park, or both afforestation areas located in the Blairmore Sector. Please and thank you! Your donation is greatly appreciated.
You Tube Video Richard St Barbe Baker presented by Paul Hanley
I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker.
“Kind people have been expressing superlatives on my work. But I can assure you that anything which I have been able to achieve has been team work. We have a motto in the Men of the Trees. TWAHAMWE. It is an African word meaning ‘pull together’ and I pass this on to all those concerned with conservation in this country. I would like to call you to silence for a moment with the words of Mathew Arnold:
“Calm soul of all things, make it mine,
To feel amidst the City ‘s jar
That there abides a peace of thine
Men did not make and cannot mar. ”
~Richard St. Barbe Baker
“Winged flowers, or flying gems.”