“Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
When you think of the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” you don’t often think of butterflies. But butterflies flock to rotting fruit the way we insist on drinking water. Our trash becomes their next meal and that’s the way they want it. If fruit’s not your dish, then you can also attract butterflies with nectar.
You can use the turned-black bananas you won’t even use in banana bread in a mud puddle, which is another way of saying “a pile of sand, fruit and water.” Add soft strawberries, melon rinds, and compost to a bowl filled with sand or gravel. Then add stale beer, sweet drinks, or water and let ferment for a few days — Voilà! You are now the proud creator of a mud puddle, which furnishes butterflies with the necessary nutrients and minerals. This even gives them a place to bathe and rehydrate, even though they don’t need to drink or bathe as often as birds do. Replace the food once it dries out or becomes moldy because you want your butterflies to be back to visit.
Attracting butterflies to your backyard gathers an excellent group of pollinators dedicated to fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Mud puddling encourages butterflies to breed, which easily multiplies your number of pollinators. Create a butterfly haven by digging a hole in the garden for the mud puddle bowl.
If you’re looking for butterfly flowers to plant in your yard, there are many lists already out there. Wait, we’ve made it easier for you. Buy pre-packaged wildflower seeds just right for attracting butterflies. Or you can use gently hand-rolled seeds meant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. All you need to create a butterfly haven is water, shelter from sun and rain, and food. You can even choose to include butterfly feeders, too. Happy Birding!