It seems to us like counting butterflies would be as challenging as counting stars, but what do we know? University of Louisville biology professor emeritus Charles Covell plans to catalog all the butterflies he can find on Saturday, July 6, and he’s looking for some help.
The annual count is open to both children and adults and takes place at UofL’s Horner Wildlife Sanctuary in Oldham County. Along with the flighty task of counting the winged insects that’ll probably be trying to get away from humans as quickly as possible, the event will feature several other butterfly specialists who will share their knowledge of the species, along with Covell.
“Here’s an opportunity to view a number of common Kentucky butterflies and learn their names and a little bit about their life histories and benefit to us as pollinators, food for birds and other animals and often-overlooked objects of beauty,” said Covell, co-founder of the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists, in a news release.
Along with starting that group in 1974 with the mission of studying Kentucky’s butterflies and moths, Covell is the author of “Butterflies and Moths of Kentucky” and the 1984 “Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.
And although he retired from UofL in 2004, he returns each year for the count. He currently lives in Gainesville, Fla., serving as the adjunct curator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity.
If you’re interested in participating on Saturday, the meeting time is 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Sugar Babe Antiques, 7511 Highway 329 in Crestwood. The count will run until 3 p.m., but you don’t have to stay the entire time.
Covell suggests you wear hats, hiking shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts — and most importantly, wear sunscreen. Also, you should probably pack a lunch and bring water. Cameras, binoculars and notebooks will be provided.
For more details, you can email Covell at [email protected].