Naturalist wants caterpillars to get some respect
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Naturalist Mark Spreyer will ask you to put aside the beautiful butterfly and "Consider the Caterpillar" at this month's ECOmmunity Green Bag Meetup Thursday, July 19.
Submitted by ECOmmunity Green Bag Meetup
Butterflies may look beautiful but, like their human counterparts, they probably were not so attractive in their gawky youth, says naturalist Mark Spreyer, a nationally known researcher, author and devotee of the caterpillar.
Spreyer, executive director of Stillman Nature Center in Barrington, will debut his new slideshow presentation titled "Consider the Caterpillar" at this month's ECOmmunity Green Bag Meetup from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 19, in downtown Woodstock.
Open to the public, the lunch-hour program and discussion is hosted by the ECOmmunity Public Action Network on the second floor of the Woodstock Square Mall, 110 S. Johnson St.
Many home gardeners view caterpillars as pests, while they will go to extremes to attract butterflies to their yards, Spreyer says.
"Butterfly gardens? Really? I've watched butterflies sipping nectar from garlic mustard," he said. "Caterpillars are what you need to pay attention to.
"You can't have butterflies or moths without their larvae, and you can't have their larvae without the plants the larvae eat," Spreyer said. "Remember, butterflies are nothing more than over-mature caterpillars. So, we're going to take a closer look at caterpillars."
A celebrated naturalist and author, Spreyer is a past director of Chicago's Peregrine Falcon release program, and he has worked with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the National Audubon Society, and Chicago Academy of Sciences. He now directs educational programs at the Stillman Nature Center and teaches Environmental Biology at the College of Lake County.
ECOmmunity Green Bag Meetups are open to the public. Coffee and ice water are provided; participants may bring their own lunch or just come to join the conversation. Social and "green biz" networking starts at 11:30 a.m., and continues after the program. A voluntary donation of $5 per person helps cover program costs.
The ECOmmunity Public Action Network is an eco-friendly volunteer interest group that hosts monthly meetups on a range of eco-friendly topics, plus special events and public service activities throughout the year.
To learn more about the organization and its Green Bag Lunch Meet-Up Series, call (815) 337-2040, email ECOnet.email@example.com or visit "ECOmmunity Network" on Facebook.com.
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