Professional nature photographer Bryan Reynolds speaking in Muskogee
Saturday March 5, 2011 1:00 p.m
Friends of Honor Heights Park annual membership meeting
Garden Education Room, Honor Heights Park (next to the Gift Shop)
Information Connie Stout 918-682-6783, email@example.com and www.friendsofhhp.com
“Butterflies – Here Today Gone Tomorrow” is the title of Bryan Reynolds presentation this Saturday at Honor Heights Park.
“Everyone hears about the environmental threats to polar bears and manatees, but those animals do not live in our back yards,” Reynolds said. “Butterflies and moths are in our yards most months of the year and their conservation deserves attention.”
Reynolds grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and once when he visited his grandparents in MO, his aunt was making an insect display. He developed a passion for nature photography after he received his first camera and read “The Nature Photographer’s Complete Guide to Field Techniques”. He retired after 20 years in the Air Force and returned to nature photography as a career.
He and his wife live in Lexington, OK but travel on photography expeditions and to give butterfly talks. His images have been published in books, post cards, calendars and magazines such as Outdoor Photographer, Nature Photographer, Mother Earth News, Discover, Highlights for Children, Birds and Blooms, and with the National Geographic Society (www.bryanreynoldsphoto.com).
His presentation on Saturday will be a photographic journey into the world of butterflies, especially Oklahoma’s.
“Oklahoma butterflies and moths are stunningly beautiful,” Reynolds said. “We have so many of the best, including the smallest in the world.”
Reynolds said he would talk about metamorphosis, what butterflies eat, mud -puddling, courting, butterfly eggs, mating and food plants. Each part of his talk will be illustrated by his own photographs.
“Most people don’t realize that brushfoot butterflies have six legs because they look like they have four,” Reynolds said. “The front two legs are very short and hairy. That’s why they are called brushfoots.”
When butterflies look like each other it is called mimicry. For example, black and eastern swallowtail butterflies mimic the pipevine swallowtail because the pipevine swallowtail is distasteful or poisonous to predators. Viceroy butterflies mimic Monarchs for the same reason.
“I will also talk about what it is like to do this work,” Reynolds said. “Kids love seeing the dangers of being a nature photographer.”
Butterflies of the World Foundation (www.botw.org) is a nonprofit founded by Bryan and Laura Reynolds with Dr. Raymond Moranz, a natural resource ecologist. They want to improve the conservation of butterfly habitat through education.
Their Foundation’s website is a rich resource of photos and information about Oklahoma butterflies. For examples, Reynolds’ photos of the male and female Diana Fritillary illustrate the dramatic difference between their appearances.
Reynolds will talk about how each of us can help with butterfly conservation. Some tips include: Plant shade trees, avoid using chemicals in gardens, plant butterfly nectar sources, and plant butterfly larval food plants. He recommends Wild Things Nursery for information and plants (www.wildthingsnursery.com, 405-382-8540 and firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Oak leaves are eaten by nine butterfly caterpillars,” Reynolds said. “Butterfly and moth caterpillars are hard to find, but looking for their food plants can make it easier.”
If you would like to see a residential garden that was turned into a butterfly sanctuary, go to http://bit.ly/dNxcBe to see photos of Marilyn Stewart’s gardens.
Tips for designing a butterfly garden include: Put your butterfly garden in a sunny location, provide both caterpillar and adult food, put in shelter plants such as shrubs, tall perennials and annuals. Also, supply a water source, rocks for sunbathing, and a dish or saucer of wet sand, for puddling.
Friends of Honor Heights Park is a nonprofit that was formed to support the continuous improvement of the Park through fund raising, nature education and related activities. The event on Sat. is free and open to the public. Currently, the organization is raising money to build a butterfly sanctuary and teaching garden at the Park.