Butterflies in April?
April in Massachusetts marks the beginning of the butterfly season for many of us. Although some species such as the Mourning Cloak overwinter as adult butterflies and may be seen on a warm late winter day, the majority of our butterflies begin to emerge in mid-April on the Massachusetts south coast.
Many people don’t realize they are butterflies, however. Although the small blue/purple flashes of the Spring Azure are regularly seen and recognized as butterflies along walking trails at this time, many of the Elfins, such as the Eastern Pine Elfin and Brown Elfin, and even the flashy Gray Hairstreak are thought to be “just another moth” as they flutter unappreciated by hikers feet.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, most of these tiny butterflies are very important pollinators of some of our early flowering plants and bushes, such as the bearberries and blueberries. It isn’t just the bees that pollinate! Butterflies are very active nectar gathering amongst the flowers and, as such, are actively pollinating as they go about their daily activities.
Would you like to catch a glimpse of these natural beauties? The Massachusetts Butterfly Club, a chapter of the North American Butterfly Association conducts walks along the Massachusetts south coast and Cape Cod and would love for you to join us! From novice to more knowledgeable enthusiast, we encourage all to come and explore with us.
The next walk in the south coast area is this upcoming Saturday, April 30th, at the Myles Standish State Forest! For information about this and all of the upcoming walks, the full schedule can be found at the following link: Massachusetts Butterfly Walk Schedule
Signing up for a walk is as simple as an email or phone call to the walk leader listed for each walk. We would love to see you out there!
As with all outdoor activity, participants on our walks are encouraged to bring water, bug repellant and any appropriate sun protection that may be needed during a 2+ hour walk