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If you haven’t yet been to the Butterfly Encounter at Lukas Nursery in Oveido, then you really should add it to your list of things to do this Spring.

Here you can you can feed not one, but two, three, four, . . . nine baby butterflies at one time.

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The staff at Lukas Nursery is extremely knowledgeable and answered tons of questions we had about this caterpillar we found last week.

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After researching FL caterpillars we found out that this guy is a White Marked Tussock Caterpillar. A moth caterpillar. Since we found him on the side of our house, we had no idea what to feed him. The people at Lukas Nursery told us that they like oak leaves. So he’s now happily munching away his oak leaves inside our caterpillar tent. We’re waiting eagerly to see him form his cocoon.

We like to take a trip to Lukas Nursery every Spring. When you go, you’ll enjoy the sight and smell of beautiful blooming butterfly plants, with a dozen or more varieties of butterflies swooping around and dancing to the soft Classical music that plays quietly in the background. Water fountains and small bridges complete the ambiance.

When you go, you’ll have the option of choosing a guided tour or going through the Encounter on your own.

We have never gone in a group setting. We like to have the space and quiet to express our full reverence for the experience. My five year old expressed the feeling best when she said, “I knew this was going to be a great day!”

You will feel that too.

Tie the field trip into a study of life cycles. Have your kids journal about it or draw pictures of the life cycle of a butterfly caterpillar or moth caterpillar. Come home and do some more research about host plants and the difference between moth caterpillars and butterfly caterpillars. Do some compare/contrast exercises. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

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