Some of my favorite butterfly shots in this video came from an unrelated shoot. We were at Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy on the day of the eclipse. Did red cockaded woodpeckers get fooled into acting like it was sunset? No, it never got that dark in Tallahassee. But, on the way out, we found our way blocked by the hundred-plus butterflies you see in the opening shots. Continue reading →
Our second monarch raising season started much earlier this year. At this point last year, we had just released our first six monarchs; as of Monday, we have released twenty six (we released one on August 21, just after the eclipse). Continue reading →
In the video below, first time WFSU producer Zach Hunter takes us to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge for an early morning of trapping and tagging monarch butterflies. Earlier in Local Routes season 2, we watched as ecology producer Rob Diaz de Villegas and his family raised monarch caterpillars. Here, we see another phase of this butterfly’s remarkable journey.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU Media
To tag monarch butterflies, you have to get to where they are before they wake up. Lucky for us, they go to a pretty good place to watch a sunrise. When the sun finally rose over Lighthouse Pond in the Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge, volunteers had been at work for over an hour. It was mid November, just past the peek migration season. There weren’t many butterflies to see. Continue reading →
The music in this segment was composed for WFSU by Hot Tamale (Appropriately, they’ll be playing at the Monarch Festival: October 22 on the St. Marks Refuge). We’ll continue to use local music to score EcoAdventures throughout season 2 of Local Routes. Also this season: performances by the Currys, the Adventures of Annabelle Lyn, Langtry, and more!
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
If you invite bees and butterflies into your garden, they will come.
If you have any sort of plants in your backyard, you’ve already invited insects. Living in Florida, we have little choice in the matter. However, each insect has specific plants with which it has ecological relationships. Plant the right flowers or native shrubs, and you’ll see more and more of the colorful pollinators that work our veggie plants and brighten our gardens.
In this two minute video, we can see monarch caterpillars eat, grow, form a chrysalis, and emerge as butterflies. All while two young children look on. Look for a video on butterfly gardening on October 20 on Local Routes (8 pm ET on WFSU-TV), featuring Lilly Anderson-Messec of Native Nurseries.
Once again, Tallahassee’s own Hot Tamale composed some original music for us to use in this segment. Thanks again Craig and Adrian!
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
Over the summer, my family and I have been witnessing a one-of-a-kind migration pass through a critical habitat: our backyard. Last month, I spotted several monarch caterpillars munching on our garden milkweed, so we brought them into our home. It was a great opportunity for my sons to witness the life cycle of the most intriguing butterfly species to (temporarily) call our area home. Continue reading →
Monarchs are cool, but they’re the only butterflies we see in this area that aren’t 100% local. We trek through a couple of different habitat types and get a hint of the diversity of butterflies we have here in the Red Hills of Florida and Georgia. Scroll down for a complete list of species we saw in the video. Music for the piece comes from Haiqiong Deng‘s performance on Local Routes. She performed two songs; the other song aired in the same episode as this segment. If you missed it, you can watch it on the Local Routes page.
Examining some torn up leaves in my garden one night, I started down a path that led me to become somewhat of a butterfly enthusiast. My wife and I had recommitted ourselves to making full use of the space we had to grow veggies, and part of that was some good old-fashioned pest squashing. Of course, some bugs are beneficial, so I did my due diligence before pulling the trigger. In other words, I went on Google. Continue reading →