by Frank Jordan and Helen Schwencke
Published by Earthling Enterprises
Soft cover, full colour, 88 pages
Reviewed by Jan Sked
Butterflies are entrancing creatures that float and flit through the garden, sipping nectar from the flowers in the warm sunshine. Everyone loves butterflies.
So how do we attract these delightful creatures to be a permanent feature of the garden? Well, Frank Jordan and Helen Schwencke have come to our rescue with this informative little book.
The introductory chapter tells us about the life cycle of the butterfly, growing host plants in the garden and how this increases the number of butterfly species who visit. There is a mention of famous people who have had an association with butterflies, and a discussion on the name butterfly in other languages.
Frank and Helen share their experiences with butterflies over twenty years. In 1992 they produced a small booklet called “Butterfly Magic” (which is one of my prize possessions), now out of print. The interest generated by this booklet led them to establish the Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club in 1994. Now, with this new book, they have endeavoured to give the readers a greater awareness of the many local butterflies that may be unfamiliar to them.
The first part of the book features 48 of the larger and more spectacular or unusual butterflies, with a full page devoted to each species. There is quite a lot of written information about each butterfly and each one is illustrated with colour photos of the butterfly, caterpillar, chrysalis and host plants. It is very good to see the caterpillars and chrysalises illustrated, as these are seldom featured in books on butterflies, and they are all part of the life cycle of the butterfly.
The latter part of the book consists of other chapters, such as “Getting Started with Butterfly Gardening”, followed by “Guests for Dinner”, and these detail some of the more common butterflies that will be seen in the garden and some of the host plants they utilise.
A chapter on “Wild Butterfly Locations” is a short guide to a small selection of places where butterfly plants can be found in the Brisbane area.
The chapter called “Observing Nature” details a host of interesting information under such headings as: “Don't Eat Me - the Plant’s Point of View”; “Don’t Eat Me - the Butterfly’s Point of View”; “Pollination”; “Ants”; “Raising Caterpillars”; “Ecological Relationships and Population Cycles”.
There is a chapter on “Nectar Plants”, and a final one on “Day-flying Moths”. Then the book finishes up with a list of resources, an Index and a list of Contacts.
It is amazing that there is so much information packed into such a small book. The love and dedication the authors have for their subject shines through every page. If you have an interest in butterflies, this is the book for you.
Price $30.00 plus $5 postage & packaging.
Earthling Enterprises Pty Ltd
PO Box 5167
West End Qld 4101
Phone: 07 3844 6677