Butterfly count set for Saturday

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By The Staff

Do you want to learn more about butterflies? Are you already a butterfly expert, but want to help with the annual count?

The annual butterfly event is for beginners, experts and everyone in between. Participants will honor the memory of

Dorothy Hoard by fluttering to three places around the Pajarito Plateau: atop a mesa, at a high altitude and along a stream Saturday.

New Mexico butterfly expert Steve Cary will be at the event to help identify butterflies and discuss their life histories.

The first count will start between 9-10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Burnt Mesa Trailhead in Bandelier, located off of State Highway 4.

The group will then move to Camp May from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m., where participants will stop to eat lunch.

The final stop will be Cañon de Valle along State Road 501 from 1:45-3:15 p.m.

Butterfly counters are welcome to stay for the whole day or opt to only count at some locations.

Born and raised in the Upper Midwest, Cary earned his bachelor’s of science degree and master’s of science degree from the geography department at the University of Wisconsin. He arrived in New Mexico in 1980 and began a 30-year career in environmental protection and natural resource management. Butterflies have always been Cary’s passion, and he has published scientific and popular articles on these amazing creatures.

Through countless walks and talks around the state, Carey has become New Mexico’s unofficial butterfly guy. New Mexico Magazine published his book, “Butterfly Landscapes of New Mexico,” in 2009. Having concluded his career in New Mexico state government in 2010, Cary is now the Operations and Resource Manager at the Randall Davey Audubon Center in Santa Fe.

Registration is required for this event, and admission is free for kids and $5 for adults. Bring binoculars, cameras, nets, sturdy walking shoes, a lunch, and water.

Some nets will be provided.

For more information about these and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, and to register for the count, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.