July 2016: Butterflies are Free!

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” 

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince



As we march into July, we are beginning to see more and more butterflies dancing through our gardens.  Even within our current exhibit, Ribbit! The Exhibit, there is Freddie, a frog posed with a butterfly net. It is a wonderful time to take a closer look at these summertime aerial visitors. Grab a field guide from the Sterling Morton Library – and head on outside! In addition to watching the flight patterns of butterflies, it is difficult not to become hyp-no-tized by the colors and designs on their wings! Ah, the joys of summer!



“Butterflies are so intensely and vividly alive that they have impressed themselves upon man’s imagination from earliest times. For centuries, English farmers, Japanese artists and Chinese emperors alike have celebrated their freedom, beauty and fragility. Today, when people from every walk of life are taking an increasing interest in wildlife, butterflies are among the living things that most people want to know more about.”

― Thomas C. Emmel, Butterflies: Their World, Their LIfe Cycle, Their Behavior


Classes and events at The Morton Arboretum

Beautiful Butterflies - 3-5 years

Beautiful Butterflies -18-35 months

Monarchs & Margaritas


Library resources

The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies by Robert Michael Pyle, 1981.

The Butterfly Book by W.J. Holland, 1898.

A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston, 2011.

Caterpillars In The Field And Garden : A Field Guide To The Butterfly Caterpillars Of North America by Thomas J. Allen, 2005.

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths by Jim Arnosky, 1996.

The Development and Evolution of Butterfly Wing Patterns by H. Frederik Nijhout, 1991.

Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois by John K. Bouseman, 2001.

Four Wings and A Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly by Sue Halpern, 2002.

How To Spot Butterflies by Patricia Sutton, 1999.

Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year by Robert Michael Pyle, 2010.

Summer Birds : The Butterflies Of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle, 2010.

Waiting For Wings by Lois Ehlert, 2001.


Reader’s advisory

If you are interested in attracting butterflies to your garden, check out the resources that we have on creating butterfly friendly gardens.