Prattville – For the Thanksgiving season, the city of Prattville planted fall gardens downtown and dressed them with hay bales, scarecrows, and cornstalks. Jan McDowell and the PDU (Prattville Downtown Unlimited) led the project and did an outstanding job.
These gardens attracted numerous species of beautiful butterflies. There were at least five yellow ones and a couple of orange spotted ones flitting around me, each reaching down into the flower nectar with their straw-like proboscises (tubular feeding structures).
Ironically, though, butterflies actually taste using sensors located in their feet, not their proboscises. They can evaluate the quality of a flower or fruit by landing on it, before unfurling their long siphons for a nutritious sip, and that useful technique tells them beforehand just how tasty their target will be.
After getting their fill and as dusk approaches, these incredible creatures crawl deep between some blades of grass or find some other cozy shelter to hide in, resting up to begin the very same routine the next morning.
Article by Melissa Parker
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