Beauty In Flight: Annual Butterfly Count on tap this weekend at Sycamore Shoals

Published 8:30 am Friday, August 4, 2017

This weekend, visitors to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will get the chance to see beauty in flight with the annual Elizabethton Butterfly Count.

On Saturday morning, naturalist Don Holt will host the 14th annual Butterfly Count at the park. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Visitors are welcome to stop by for the whole day or just part of the event.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Park Manager Jennifer Bauer said of the count. “We all love butterflies because they are beautiful.”

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In addition to their beauty, Bauer said butterflies also have a lot of unique behaviors.

“Butterflies are interesting in that many species lay their eggs on a specific plant,” she said. “I think what is interesting to me is the relationship specific species have with a specific plant or family of plants.”

Visitors will get the chance to learn about the different butterflies that can be encountered in this particular region. Bauer said Holt has been studying butterflies for many years and is very knowledgeable.

“He’ll be out here in the field at the park for most of the morning,” Bauer said, adding Holt will also conduct a walk through the park. “They will meander around the park and talk about the things they find.”

In addition to his knowledge of butterflies, Bauer said Holt is also an excellent birder and is well versed in both dragonflies and damselflies.

“He’s an incredible naturalist,” Bauer said. “We are always thrilled when we can have him here for a program.”

The event is free to the public and open to all ages and levels of experience. Those with binoculars are encouraged to bring them, but they are not required to take part in the event.

The 14th Annual Elizabethton Butterfly Count is sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association & Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.