Butterflies celebrated at Fernwood

Published 1:19 pm Saturday, June 30, 2007

By Staff
NILES – Butterflies are one of summer's special joys, and there will be plenty of them this summer at Fernwood. The first-ever Butterfly Festival runs just two more days.
For the four-day festival, already "attendance has been up," said Peter van der Linden, with 370 going through on Thursday.
For the festival, an enclosure on the South Vista lawn has become a temporary home for butterflies of many kinds. Experience a magical world where butterflies of all colors flutter by and caterpillars nibble on leaves. Use fruit to entice a butterfly to your hand.
The butterflies are provided by Keep Smiling! Enterprises of Gainesville, Fla. Most are colorful southern species such as gulf fritillaries, zebra longwings, Julias, queens and swallowtails, but more familiar butterflies such as the monarch are also included.
Also during the festival, vistors can view larger-than-life butterflies in Fernwood's gardens. These colorful metal sculptures are created by artist Ed Wedow, who is offering them for sale. One will be raffled off to a lucky winner.
While you enjoy the sculptures, look for interpretive signs along the garden paths. "Vanessa the Butterfly" helps you learn about butterflies and their intriguing natural history.
In the Visitors Center, photographs of local butterflies are on display. Also, everyone can vote for their choice of the butterfly art submitted by area children.
To reach the Fernwood Nature Center, take U.S. 31 to Walton Road, exit 7, go west 1.7 miles, then north to 13988 Range Line Road, Niles.
For the festival, Fernwood will remain open until 7 p.m. Fernwood opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday and at noon on Sunday.
Its cafe serves soup, bread, chicken salad, fresh fruit and desserts.