Butterflies, Butterflies Everywhere!

If you have been on Hilton Head Island this September, you couldn’t have missed the seemingly millions of beautiful butterflies out and about.  From the parks to the beach to driving down William Hilton Parkway, the Island has turned into a butterfly mecca.

Mom & Gray in front of the Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Enclosure

Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn hosts the Karen Wertheimer Butterfly Enclosure and I knew I needed to take Gray (22 months) since his favorite book thus far is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The grounds of the museum are full of oaks and magnolias, some over 200 years old.

Coastal Discovery Museum is dedicated to preserving the culture and lifestyle of the Hilton Head Island – a visit to the museum is a must during your trip to the Island.  The butterfly enclosure was built to preserve, protect and harvest butterflies – right on the property.  The museum offers guided educational talks and tours on the butterfly exhibit twice a week, led by their dedicated volunteers.

Our guide, Mimi and Gray – learning about the cycle of life for the butterfly.

 

What an experience!  Our guide, Mimi, led our discovery time and was extremely knowledgeable on the life-cycle of a butterfly.   The highly educational hour consisted of identifying different species of butterfly, identifying plants that butterfly feed on, understanding the perfumes of flowers and attraction to butterflies, understanding the life-cycle of the butterfly and so much more!  Mimi’s knowledge and passion was amazing, and she knew how to focus her talk to her audience!  Lots of touching, feeling and smelling!

Monarch Butterfly

We started the tour on the benches outside the enclosure where Mimi went over the stages of a butterfly, from egg to larvae to wings – all with pictures. She talked about the natural history of local butterflies and ones that were specific to our region as well.  Then the fun part began!  We were able to walk through the exhibit, which is enclosed to capture the butterflies (and it was nice because Gray was free to roam) where we saw at least four different species. Click here to see the video from inside the exhibit!   We touched the flowers, plants and even the butterflies!

Can you see the Monarch Larvae hanging from the top of this display?

Then we went to the display areas where they had caterpillars, eggs, silk and cocoons – it was very interactive and kept Gray’s attention!

Can you see the silk on the leaf? Look close!

The larva here actually mimics the look of a snake to keep away predators!  That is just the outside, the actual caterpillar is hidden underneath!  Can you see the silk too?

 

 

 

The grounds at Honey Horn are open daily to the public but I encourage you to come with your little ones and discover butterflies in the Lowcountry!  This exhibit is appropriate for all ages and the guides do a great job catering the presentation to the group.  There are also grounds to explore, including oaks trees that are over 200 years old.

If you go:

The butterfly tour is offered twice a week, click to see the Museums list of programs here.

Cost $10 per adult, $5 per child

The Museum offers guided walks and talks of the Honey Horn property, Sea Turtle walks on the beach, historical site visits and more.   Click here for their facebook page.

In addition to Coastal Discovery Museum’s programs and grounds, they have an interactive children’s area and an amazing local gift shop, perfect to pick up a gift from Hilton Head Island….or grab some local Lowcountry foods!

Gray with Myrtle the Turtle in the interactive kid’s room!

Local jams, honey and many other wonderful foods are found in the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn Gift Shop!