At the Brightwood Inn we have 14 acres of land. The front 2.5 acres are designated for our Aronia bushes and starting next year we will apply for an Organic license. That means that for the past 5 years there have been no pesticides used on our property. Everything that we grow, we grow in a sustainable way. Now tie that in with the fact that we are surrounded on three sides by Matthiessen State Park and you could see why the Brightwood Inn is the perfect place to grab your Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders (or you can borrow ours) and look for many different species of Butterflies. In this picture we have a Giant Swallowtail on a milkweed plant in our backyard. On a side note, we don't consider Milkweed a weed at the Brightwood Inn. Anywhere it wants to grow, we let it. Milkweed is danger of being eradicated because of all the harmful pesticides being sprayed by our agriculture system and milkweed is a valuable part of our ecosystem. If it is eradicated, other species will fall, especially many species of butterflies. But I digress, so back to the Giant Swallowtail. Now it's hard to judge the size of this butterfly from this picture, so I want you to hold out your hand flat and look at it. These butterflies are slightly larger than that. We also have a couple of other Swallowtails around here. We have the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Eastern Black Swallowtail. Neither are as large as the Giant, but equally pretty.
We also get a lot of Monarchs and or Viceroys out here as well. Monarchs are one of the Butterflies that are dependent on the milkweed plant for reproduction. So not only do we let the wild milkweed grow where we can, we will also be planting a milkweed patch in our acreage somewhere next year. visit http://makewayformonarchs.org/i/archives/598 for more information on the decline of Monarchs in this country.
Stay close to our Blog as we will be posting more pictures and information on the Butterflies of the Brightwood Inn!!