Ohio Operating Engineers FCU Winter 2017-1 Edition
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Winter Activities

Making A Butterfly Puddle

Have you ever seen and wondered why butterflies clustered around muddy spots or puddles? Butterflies "puddle" when they are in search of minerals they need to stay healthy, such as sodium and nitrogen. They use their tongues to extract minerals from damp soil or sand. The puddle also gives the butterflies a helping hand by offering them drink. Butterflies cannot sip water from ponds or other bodies of water since the surface tension of the water is too strong for their delicate wings.

Making a butterfly puddle in your own yard is a great way to encourage butterflies to visit. Once you have it made, enjoy watching the butterflies it attracts!

What You Will Need:

  • A shallow dish (plastic saucer from a flowerpot or a pie pan) or a shallow birdbath
  • Top spoil or sand
  • Flat rocks (not gravel) for butterfly landing strips
  • Water

How To Make:

  1. Select a sunny spot where the container won't be in your way, but will be easy for butterflies to spot. If possible, place it near flowers and try to protect it from the wind.
  2. Fill the bottom half of your shallow dish or birdbath with soil or sand. Avoid potting soils with fertilizers. Butterflies can be sensitive to chemicals.
  3. Arrange the flat rocks in the soil.
  4. Fill with water until the surface is wet.
  5. Make sure to keep the soil or sand moist for the summer.

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800-462-0549
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