2014 readers choice results
Article updated: 5/24/2013 6:28 PM

Geneva Butterfly House opens for 10th beautiful season

Jake Turoff, 3, of Geneva, enjoys the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park. It opened Friday with the release of 400 butterflies.

Jake Turoff, 3, of Geneva, enjoys the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park. It opened Friday with the release of 400 butterflies.

 

Emmalee Luckas | Staff Photographer

Two-year-old Ava Luhmann reacts as her mother Jennifer Luhmann, both of Cary, holds a butterfly during the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. Seven types of butterflies were released.

Two-year-old Ava Luhmann reacts as her mother Jennifer Luhmann, both of Cary, holds a butterfly during the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. Seven types of butterflies were released.

 

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Six-year-old Olivia Gebhardt of Batavia gets a helping hand from her nanny, Susan Jensen, while releasing a butterfly during the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. Jensen is a volunteer at Peck Farm Park.

Six-year-old Olivia Gebhardt of Batavia gets a helping hand from her nanny, Susan Jensen, while releasing a butterfly during the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. Jensen is a volunteer at Peck Farm Park.

 

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

A butterfly rests after being released during the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. More than 400 butterflies and seven different types of butterflies were released during the event.

A butterfly rests after being released during the 10th anniversary of the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Friday. More than 400 butterflies and seven different types of butterflies were released during the event.

 

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 1 of 4 
 
text size: AAA

"Go!" an excited toddler yelled at a butterfly Friday, as it emerged, then flew away, from a wax-paper envelope his mother held open.

That sums up the feeling Friday afternoon at the Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva, which opened for its 10th season with a release party.

Advertisement

Slowly but surely, people released 400 butterflies into the house. Some needed coaxing, by holding the envelope right next to a flower. The butterflies may have been a little drowsy, after being refrigerated on their trip from a butterfly farm in Florida. Butterflies are coldblooded, so they prefer temperatures of at least 70 degrees, said Trish Burns, manager of the Peck Farm Park Interpretive Center.

"He landed on your finger!" an envious David Luhmann of Cary exclaimed, as a monarch perched on the hand of his mother, Jennifer.

"Isn't he cute? It just happened!" a surprised Jennifer said.

Seven types of butterflies were released, including the striking yellow-and-black striped zebra longwings. They perched on the walls, flowers, and a man's hat.

Volunteers explained the lives of butterflies, as did signs throughout the house. The house starts the season with adult-stage butterflies, and will receive a weekly shipment of 100 pupa.

It has a new pupa hatching cage, courtesy of a Boy Scout's Eagle project. It is slightly lower than the old one, so small children can see the pupa hanging, ready to emerge from their cocoons.

There are flowers in the house, for the adults to feed on, and bushes where they like to rest at night. There are also fuchsia bath poufs hanging from the walls and a tree. "They think butterflies are attracted to the color," said volunteer Chuck Mies. They are also attracted to the Gatorade in which the poufs are soaked.

Burns said the house gets about 18,000 visits a season. She expected as many as 300 people at the party Friday.

Why the park has the house has nothing especially to do with the ecology of the area, with its prairies and wetlands. It was installed "To get people to come to visit Peck Farm Park. It was a challenge to get visitors" when the park first opened, Burns said, and there are just a handful of butterfly houses in Chicago and the suburbs.

The Butterfly House is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through the third week of September. It closes during rain and severe weather.

The district requests a donation of $2 per person or $5 per family to visit the house.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.