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2012 Butterfly Festival – Violet Town Lepidoptera Extravaganza

A big audience enjoys the evening.

A big crowd turned out for a balmy evening in Violet Town two Fridays ago, 23.11.12. In fact, this penultimate event of the Strathbogie Ranges Butterfly Festival actually began earlier in the afternoon, with the Honeysuckle Recreational & Environment Precinct (HREP) hosting a visit by the Kindergarten children to the Honeysuckle creek, where they had the chance to explore and learn about the natural environment of the creek.

Next, HREP led a gardening project at the nearby Peranbin Primary School, where a butterfly garden was planted around an old River Red Gum stump.

The evening’s activities started with a dinner of home-baked pizzas from the Community Oven and then progressed to the main activities for the evening.

Once dark enough, renowned moth expert Peter Marriot (ably assisted by another ‘mothylated spirit’ Steve Williams) gave an introductory presentation on moths: exactly what is a ‘moth’, what is their relationship to butterflies and why are they important in the natural environment. Then, as the evening became dark enough, we all headed over to the playground area, which became the stage for the Violet Town Youth ‘Lepidoptera Performance’

VT Community House Coordinator, Helen Keighery, and local kids treated the audience to a beautiful performance about the trials and tribulations of being a butterfly, complete with jokes, wonderful choreographed performances by all the children and gorgeous colour. A delightful performance!

Those keen to hear more about moths then headed back to the Bowls Club wall for another dose of moth-ology. Eventually though, we all wanted to see the real thing, so we all headed down to the creek where Peter had set up a light and sheet to survey the local moth fauna. We all marveled at the sheer number of insects attracted to the light and then, once we got our eyes in, the diversity of insects as well.

You can read about the diversity of moths and other insects that were recorded on the evening on Strathbogie Ranges Nature View.

The afternoon and evening were a great success, with well over 80 people attending. Many thanks to Sue Paton/HREP, Helen Keighery/VT Community House and Violet Town Community Oven for collaborating so seamlessly to present the various activities. And special thanks to Peter Marriott and Steve Williams for opening a window onto the mysterious and fascinating world of moths.