Frontera Audubon will be hosting guided butterfly walks on Friday mornings during the month of April. Walks will begin at 10 a.m. each Friday at the Frontera Visitors’ Center at 1101 S. Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. These walks are free to members; nonmembers may join in for a $3 charge which includes a $5 daypass to the Frontera Thicket.
Mike Rickard and Ginny Musgrave will lead the walks through the citrus grove to the south of the historic Skaggs House amid plants that traditionally draw thousands of migrating butterflies during the Spring months. In addition, Frontera’s circle drive has received new plantings with the assistance of Frontera’s volunteers and local native plant expert Ken King, and this area will be featured in the weekly guided walks along with Frontera’s 12 acre native Thicket.
Rickard and Musgrave moved to the Valley in 2008 after many years collecting and doing butterfly field work in the Houston area. Along the way, Rickard distributed his collection to various institutional and private collections, then, once relocated here, he began photographing butterflies and has amassed photographs of nearly 200 species including several U.S. records. Today, Mike and Ginny are interested in butterfly-habitat associations, and their special interest is in skippers.
“These walks are for butterfly enthusiasts of all levels, from those wishing to expand their sightings to people who want to enjoy being outdoors on these beautiful mornings and learning a little about lepidoptery,” says Rickard. Frontera invites attendees to arrive a bit early for coffee in the Visitors’ Center and bring along binoculars. Recipes will be available for butterfly bait.
Frontera Audubon is a private nonprofit organization with a mission to conserve the native environment of the Rio Grande Valley. The Frontera Thicket is a a 15 acre urban sanctuary located at 1101 S. Texas Blvd. Weslaco. For more information, please call (956) 968-3275.