Second Annual Butterfly Festival in Cole, Oklahoma
Natural beauty in its rural setting; flowers were planted to entice and nurture butterflies by the Cole Butterfly Festival Association members of Cole, Oklahoma
Monarchs and Viceroy. A copycat?
Viceroy butterflies mimic the looks of a Monarch butterfly. It is said to be a 'designed trickery', as the Monarch butterfly does not taste good. The Viceroy (evidently) does, so it has accomplished the 'near identify theft' of the Monarch looks so birds do not try to use it as a meal.
Nature does have a certain way of facilitation, lucky for the Viceroy. who wears a smile on its wings. This is a major defining difference that marks the Viceroy. A young teen guide explained this difference at the Cole Butterfly Festival, October 3, 2009.
The Cole Monarch Butterfly Migration Festival Committee members oversee the planting and care of varied floral species to both entice and nurture butterflies.
There were many beautiful plants for nectar and host plants available for butterflies and their larvae.
So many beautiful blooms, nectar blossoms were abundant.
'Butterfly babies’. One ‘hatching’ was celebrated. A birthing butterfly must not be assisted or its wings will not unfold/strengthen properly.
The Second Annual Monarch Migration and Butterfly Festival
Cole is less than twenty miles south of Oklahoma City, and the local newspaper had advertised the Butterfly Festival there held in October. This year would be a second trip to go celebrate...
Several lady relatives wanted to go enjoy the Butterfly Festival last year at the time of the monarch's stopover to Mexico. But on the way we got a little lost that Saturday afternoon. In rural Oklahoma with an online map that did not seem to match where we were, we ended up in cornfields with a tractor that had to share the dirt ruts, and even some cows that stared as if they'd never seen a human. (I do believe I remember someone mooing at them.) Finally we dead-ended where the map did - and there in sight to the right was Cole, Oklahoma! Butterfly signs welcomed our arrival.
By the time we arrived - a little too late, it was over. So we drove around the hilly park area, watched the few workers still cleaning up and packing away, then determined to properly attend the next year. As we read news accounts this year of that time, the festival turnout had been so much bigger than expected that food sold out, too many people wanted to be chosen to release the butterflies, and plans would be made to prepare for a larger crowd, more food and more activities. And they succeeded!
This year we arrived early while it was still cool enough for a sweater, found a good parking space and with our cameras snapping, chased butterflies and blossoms, bought silver Labradorite jewelry and sarsparilla drinks and freshly made Indian tacos. Oh, and that homemade-good-cook carrot cake! Ice cream! And we watched children getting beautiful butterflies painted on their faces so they could march in the butterfly parade. The face painting was fabulous!
We traipsed up and down the small hilly paths to and from the butterfly and caterpillar exhibits, went through the tiny CommunityBuilding with it's Scout displays of butterfly metamorphosis, and the real thing - pupae and caterpillars. There were displays and explanations of them all, and of the beautifully different butterfly plants. The Scouts and Leaders did a fantastic job of art and instruction and they are to be complimented on their detailed tasks! We inspected the live pupae and caterpillars of various sort on display and were given thorough explanations of each stage.
Otherwise, one thing we missed out on - because were so stuffed - was the loaded fries. That was a big plate of fries loaded with chili, cheese, tomatoes, peppers...greasy YUM! I will have some next year at the Third Annual Cole Butterfly Festival!
Another attraction at the Festival were all the butterfly costumed children. These happy children were interested in sharing their lovely costumes with you.
And now the butterfly release!
In early afternoon just before karaoke time, the crowd gathered around the netted butterfly holding tent to see who would be allotted the right to gently catch a tagged Monarch inside the tent, then exit to release it from a lifted hand.
The tagged butterfly would sit a few seconds on a finger, and then quickly ascend fluttering its way to Mexico, probably appreciative of the nectar and rest provided before its journey. The five seconds-long video shows one such release, and if you look carefully you will see the Monarch take off and flutter up and away to the center right.
Video is only five seconds long, so look closely to see the Monarch fly up and away to the right.
This happy couple became engaged in the butterfly tent as she was gathering her butterfly to release. His sunflower bouquet for her is delightful!
Map shows incidence of known Monarch migration pathways.
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The butterfly heritage of America is valued in its beauty. As you enjoy the varied natural places and items of Nature, do you...See results without voting
Cole, Oklahoma is a known migration pathway for Monarchs.
As the Monarchs migrate from northern regions to the south for winter vacation, they flutter over much of Oklahoma as you see on the above map. Some years there are very few. In lucky years there are many, many seen flying, resting, or eating. Many butterflies die on the difficult journey, but the survivors massively cover vegetation, trees and land in areas of north and central Mexico. Research is still occurring to monitor and track different migration pathways of the butterflies.
The Cole Monarch Migration and Butterfly Festival Association has taken on the responsibility of celebrating and assisting these magnificent admired creatures and the membership was formed to accomplish this task via a festive game, music, craft, parade and food offering to the public. It has been highly successful -and is expected to become a growing celebration ---one that we hope is around for the Monarch migration for years to come.
As reported in the Daily Oklahoman in late September 2009, Festival coordinator, Annie Hart described the Butterfly festival as ‘quaint and homey, but very festive’. Part of the reason for the butterfly festival is to educate people on how to help the Monarch butterflies repopulate and thrive again after a devastating freeze killed about 80% of them at sites in Mexico.
Annie Hart and Kay Webb and other Cole residents determined to offer opportunities and educational items for people who would want to create a butterfly feeding garden of their own and thus assist the Monarchs on their annual migration. Butterfly nurturing flora and host plants for caterpillars are sold at the festival and some good type nectar plant seeds are given away then also.
INFORMATION regarding the festival may be obtained by sending mail to Annie Hart or Kay Webb or the Butterfly Festival Association to: Annie Hart, P.O. Box 671, Blanchard, Oklahoma, 73010. If you write do send a LSASE. Since I have no connection with them, I would also suggest to include a small donation to assist their efforts.
The date chosen for the Monarch Migration and Butterfly Festival depends on the estimated time of the Monarch congregations’ arrival in Cole, which is affected by weather. However despite any lack of congregating butterflies, the festival will go on, their celebration will still happen: It's OK if they choose to come and feast later.
You also, are invited to attend and enjoy the next celebration of these natural beauties - next Fall - at the Third Annual Monarch Migration and Butterfly Festival in Cole, Oklahoma! Stay tuned for the announcement of that fall Festival date!
Update: The 2010 festival information.
The Monarch Migration Celebration 2010 will be held Saturday, October 2 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at a new site near Cole.
The Butterfly Festival and Parade will be held in the Jerusalem community, with is two miles EAST of Cole on State Highway 74B. This is about two miles west of the State Highway 74 exit from I-35 south of Oklahoma City wide area. The 74 exit to Goldsby is just south of the David Jay Perry Airport which takes you south to meet the 74B westerly highway.
During this summer, Annie Hart and her core volunteers have established a new butterfly garden in Jerusalem for the monarchs. They maintain a seed bank and flowers that produce the necessary nectar to feed the caterpillars and butterflies, and will assist any central Oklahoma community interested in creating its own butterfly feeding garden.
Everyone welcome to come enjoy the festivities on October 2!
For more information you may look in the 'Festivals and Events section' of the TravelOK.com site.
Here are some great links on HubPages.
- The Jerusalem Monarch Butterfly Celebration 2010
The third annual Monarch Butterfly Migration Festival was held in Jerusalem Community Park on October 2, 2010. Just south of Oklahoma City/Norman, we exited I-35 to travel briefly west to the avid celebration. It was a clear, beautifully warm...
- Monarchs and Milkweed
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- How to attract Monarch butterflies to your garden
The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is surely one of the most beautiful and fascinating insects in the world with its large reddish-orange wings veined in strong black lines, its soaring graceful flight...
- Swan Plant is a food plant for Monarch caterpillars
The Monarch butterfly caterpillar can only eat plants in the Milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae) and one of these that grows quite large so provides plenty of food and is easily cultivated and very ornamental in...
More butterfly images and information
- Butterflies: Butterfly Facts and Butterfly Pictures
Everyone loves to look at butterflies but what do we really know about them? How long do they live? Where do they live? What do they like to eat? For answers to these and other questions, read on.
- Butterflies of Oklahoma-15 Beautiful Specimens And How To Attract Them
The Sooner State is home to a wide variety of butterflies. Here are fifteen of the prettiest Oklahoma butterflies, along with suggestions for butterfly gardens, butterfly puddles, and butterfly lore.
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