From butterflies to tarantulas: Families learn about insects on ‘Bug Day’ at Wehr Nature Center
FRANKLIN — From butterflies to tarantulas, Bug Day at the Wehr Nature Center gives families the opportunity to learn about these invertebrate critters and their relatives — and it took place Sunday afternoon, September 17th at the center in Whitnall Park.
“An invertebrate, simply put, has no backbone,” said Howard Aprill, Wehr naturalist in a news release. “While some bugs may seem skittish when you approach them, you have to be amazed at the risks they take on a daily basis for the benefit of their communities and for our benefit as well.”
Throughout the day, families had the opportunity to learn about insects through show-and-tell-and-touch demonstrations, and visitors even had a chance to don a costume to become a centipede, millipede, or butterfly.
There were Grasshopper Jumping contests for the kids, and children were invited to bring their own grasshoppers or check one out from Wehr’s stable of grasshoppers — with prizes awarded for the “Top Hopper.”
And of course, there was food! Visitors had the opportunity to sample Creepy Crawly Cuisine, including meal-worm-and-cricket salsa on a cracker or tortilla chip.
Butterflies were highlighted by Renowned Lepidopterist (butterfly specialist) Phil Holzbauer, who presented his exhibit featuring butterflies from around the world. Other local butterfly experts shared their knowledge, including “Butterfly Barb” Agnew, founder of Friends of the Monarch Trail, and University of Wisconsin–Extension specialists. They answered questions and offered tips on creating backyard gardens that attract butterflies and other native pollinators.
Other demonstration topics included tarantulas from around the world, bee hives, and bee keeping.
To be introduced to still more insects, such as Praying Mantids and scorpions, families were invited to visit the Amazing Insect Zoo, to dip for critters in Mallard Lake, and to go on an insect hike.
Children were also able to work on bug-themed crafts.
Admission was $3 per person, with Friends of Wehr members being able to pay $2 per person. Children two and under were admitted for free. Parking was $3 per car.
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