View Post

The Hort Report: June 2017 Edition

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

What a wonderful time of year – we get to enjoy the fruits of our labours while the gardens are still bug-free! Now Showing: Blankets of Moss Phlox, Rock Cress and Perennial Alyssum paint a lovely canvas this Spring. Other than requiring an occasional replacement plant they are generally maintenance free and enjoyed by many species – mostly humans. Coming …

View Post

National Volunteer Week!

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

We love our volunteers! Each year during National Volunteer Week, we like to shine the light on our wonderful volunteer team and we invite you to join us in giving them a heartfelt “Thanks!” Did you know that we usually have between 12 – 24 volunteers as part of our amazing team? They devote anywhere between 2 – 6 hours of …

View Post

Butterflies in Winter

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Butterflies are sun-lovers, so much so that they can be considered little solar-powered beings who are dependent on the warmth to stay active and fly around. So how on earth could be a butterfly be flying around in winter? It may seem like a strange concept but it’s not uncommon for our Naturalist to receive multiple calls through fall and …

View Post

Messengers from the Mangrove Forest

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Imagine yourself in a lush, coastal mangrove swamp in Malaysia. There are stilted trees, thorny vines, and lush foliage so thick you can hardly see ten steps in front of you. In the water at your feet live endangered dugongs, and in the trees above you call proboscis monkeys, who also depend on this unique mangrove ecosystem. Suddenly, out of …

View Post

The Secret Life of Lichens

In Exhibits by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Ever since the new Lichens exhibit arrived (on display now from November – April 2017), we’ve all been learning more & more about the fascinating world of lichens. At first it may not sound like it’s a very fascinating topic – but you may be surprised. Here are some quick, fun facts about the secret life of lichens. What are …

View Post

Monarch Population Update

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Photo from Journey North Monarch Blog – Homero Gomez, Nov 2016.   The Monarchs arrived in Mexico! Almost like clockwork, they were reported as arriving in sanctuary areas on Nov 1 & 2 2016, just in time for the local Day of the Dead celebrations. There have been speculations on how this year’s overwintering population will compare to the last. …

View Post

Help – it’s almost winter & I found a caterpillar!

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Every fall we receive calls from concerned individuals who have found a caterpillar late in the season, and are wondering what will become of it with the advent of the cold weather. Quite often the caterpillar in question is the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), which is commonly found in vegetable gardens feeding on carrot, dill or parsley plants. If you …

View Post

Creepy Crawly Arachnids

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

Halloween is the celebration of the creepy, the fanfare of the phantasma! Out come the decorations, the ghosts & the skeletons, the spider webs, the gravestones. This spooky season brings to mind animals that naturally lend themselves to “creepiness”: rats, ravens, bats, black cats (a recurring theme of black & dark colours), even spiders and scorpions. Why do we view …

View Post

Bug of the Week: Praying Mantis

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

It could possibly be one of Ontario’s most impressive looking bugs. Sought after by many young naturalists, and never failing to impress the older ones as well, is the famous Praying Mantis. While this insect is one of the most familiar found in a garden, yard or field, it’s interesting how recently this insect came to be in Ontario. The …

View Post

Insects are Animals Too!

In Conservatory by Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

When most people think about animals, the first creatures that come to mind are often elephants, zebras, dolphins, or puppies. But did you know that insects such as butterflies, stick bugs, cockroaches, and bees are also animals? In biology, scientists use a system called taxonomy to sort and classify all living things. This system was designed by Carl Linnaeus in …