How to Hold a Butterfly

Getting the chance to hold a butterfly is a truly magical occurrence. They are shy creatures, so you should consider yourself lucky if you get one to stay on your hand. Finding and catching one may be tricky, but a fun experience overall. Handling butterflies to look at them closely, in all their beauty, requires a gentle and caring approach.

EditFinding a Butterfly
Search in the summer during the daytime. Butterflies tend to be more active when it is sunny, and summertime is butterfly season (between May-August). So when you’re looking for butterflies, go in the morning or early evening when it’s not too hot.
In the morning or early evening, butterflies will sit with their wings spread out to absorb the sunlight. Once they are warmed up, the butterflies will start to fly around and find food.[1]
Keep in mind, butterflies won’t fly if the temperature is less than 60 degrees.[2]

Go to an area with bright-colored flowers and fruit. Butterflies have a sweet tooth. You will find them in places where there are an abundance of flowers, as they use them for their nectar. Regular spots to find lots of flowers include botanical gardens, parks, meadows, and butterfly groves.
Search in an area with bright colors. Butterflies tend to be seen around red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple blossoms.

Look for the following plants that various species of butterfly tend to enjoy: daylily, marigold, oregano, lavender, goldenrod, sage, fennel, and others.[3]
Butterflies also enjoy fruits, so you can find them by citrus trees or blackberry plants.[4]

Visit your local zoo. You may not be able to find any butterflies due to the area you live in or the weather. Luckily, many zoos have butterfly exhibits where visitors can get a close-up view of various butterfly species.
Always follow the rules and guidelines at the exhibit. Although you may not be permitted to touch the butterflies at the zoo, there is a chance that one lands on you so you can observe them up close and personal.

EditCatching a Butterfly With a Net
Obtain a net to catch a butterfly. You can purchase a net or make one using a wooden handle, a wire hanger, duct tape, and netting. The net should be at least 24 inches (2 feet) deep, allowing you to trap the butterfly in the deep end of the net.
Avoid purchasing a cheap “children’s” butterfly net. The shallow netting may harm the butterflies.[5]
Research the laws in your area regarding butterfly hunting. In some cities, you may need a permit to carry a net. You can find this information by doing a quick Google search of “butterfly net laws” along with the name of your city and state.[6]

Slowly approach the butterfly from behind. Butterflies can be skittish and will scare easily, so it’s best to approach one from behind where they won’t see you. For best results, sneak up on one that is resting on a flower. It will be harder to catch one while it is in mid-flight.[7]

Catch the butterfly in the bottom of the net. To catch the butterfly, do a quick scoop to surround the butterfly with the net. Move your net so that the butterfly is at the deep end of the net, not toward the top rim.

Flip the net over the handle. Once the butterfly is in the deep end of the net, flip the netting over the handle so there are no open holes. This will prevent the butterfly from escaping back through the hoop.[8]

Get the butterfly out of the net with both hands. Now it’s time to get the butterfly out of the net without it flying away. Do this very gently, as to not damage the insect’s body, legs, or wings.
Carefully flatten the net bag so that the wings of the butterfly are closed over its back. From the outside of the net, use your thumb and forefinger to hold the top part of the wings.

With your other hand, use your thumb and forefinger to firmly grasp all four wings, then carefully remove it from the net.[9]
Try holding the butterfly upside down; that will calm it down.[10]

EditHandling a Butterfly
Wash and dry your hands. Although butterflies are very resilient creatures, chemical contact with their scales, wings, and bodies should be avoided. Whether you catch your butterfly with a net or are lucky enough to have one land on you independently, you need to make sure your hands are clean and dry before touching it. So if you put on any sunscreen or bug spray before you went off to catch your butterfly, wash your hands to get that residue off before touching them.[11]

Use sugar water to attract the butterfly to your hand. You may be able to get a butterfly to land on you without trapping it in a net by making butterfly nectar, which is a sugar and water mixture. You can make butterfly nectar by boiling a solution of 4 parts water and 1 part sugar. While observing butterflies near flowers or plants, put a little bit of the sugar water on your hand. They are attracted to the mixture and may fly to your hand to feed.[12]

Remain very still. Butterflies are very skittish and will scare easily. If you want one to land on your hand and stay there for a while, you need to be still and avoid any sudden movements.
If you put sugar water in your hand, butterflies will usually feed for 30 seconds to a minute before flying away again.[13]

Be careful when handling. While the butterfly is sitting on your hand (or wherever it decided to land), avoid petting it. Just try to observe its beauty without touching.
Butterfly’s wings are covered in tiny scales. These scales give them their wing patterns, and make them more aerodynamic when flying. When you touch their wings, they lose scales. If they lose these scales, they can still fly. However, depending on the number of scales lost, it may make them less aerodynamic and can affect their flight pattern slightly.[14]

Try to catch larger butterflies, as they are easier to hold.

Be very gentle when handling the butterfly. You do not want to accidentally pull off the butterfly’s legs or wings.

EditThings You’ll Need
Sugar water (butterfly nectar)

Butterfly net

EditRelated wikiHows
Attract Butterflies

Build a Butterfly House

Raise Butterflies

Create a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden

Care for a Caterpillar

Take Care of Butterflies

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 1st March 2019

Historical Events

1866 – Paraguayan canoes sink 2 Brazilian ironclads on Rio Parana
1940 – Richard Wright’s novel “Native Son” is published
1941 – 1st US commercial FM radio station goes on the air, Nashville, Tennessee
1954 – 4 Puerto Ricans open fire in US House of Representatives injuring 5 members
1973 – Robert Joffrey Dance Company opens
2007 – Tornadoes swarm across the southern United States, killing at least 20; eight of the deaths were at a high school in Enterprise, Alabama.

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Famous Birthdays

1880 – Lytton Strachey, English biographer and critic (Benson Medal 1923), born in London, England
1923 – Kuczka Péter, Hungarian writer and editor (d. 1999)
1943 – Akinori Nakayama, Japanese gymnast (6 Olympic gold 1968, 72), born in Nagoya, Japan
1967 – Aron Winter, Surnamese/Dutch soccer star (Ajax, Lazio)
1971 – Zahoor Elahi, cricketer (Pakistan opening batsman v NZ 1996)
1983 – Daniel Carvalho, Brazilian footballer

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Famous Deaths

1693 – Benedict Schultheiss, German composer, dies at 39
1757 – Edward Moore, English writer (b. 1712)
1859 – Josef Theodor Krov, composer, dies at 61
1984 – Jackie Coogan, American actor (Addams Family, The Kid, Oliver Twist), dies of a heart attack at 69
1991 – Edwin Land, American inventor of instant photography and co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation, dies at 81
1994 – Sandro Fuga, Italian composer and pianist, dies at 87

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How to Select a Surfboard

Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just getting started, choosing the right surfboard for you makes all the difference in being able to ride waves successfully. There are many different types of surfboards meant for different skill levels, weights, and conditions – but just like in any sport, if you don’t have the proper equipment tailored to you, you’re gonna have a bad time.

EditChoosing a Style
Choose a longboard or funboard to learn the basics of surfing. A longboard is about 8 to 11 feet long and serves as a fantastic starting point for a novice due to its balance and ability to catch smaller waves. A funboard is a little smaller, at 7 to 9 feet long, but is wider than most other surfboards, giving it good stability.
A funboard is considered easier to maneuver than a longboard, but longboards are the best surfboard for a total beginner.[1]

Try a shortboard or fish board if you want to tackle more aggressive waves. A shortboard, at 5 to 7 feet long, has a pointed front end and is meant for shredding rough and aggressive waves. A fish board is even smaller than a shortboard but wider, with a dual-pointed rear resembling a large fin, and makes turns both quickly and smoothly.
If you are just moving beyond a beginner board, try a fish board before a shortboard. You will get used to the maneuverability of a shorter surfboard while adjusting away from long ones.[2]

Test a hybrid board to combine the aspects of two boards into one. A hybrid board is a combination of any two boards that are similar.
A shortboard and a fish board hybrid is a common combination, making the shortboard more balanced and able to turn without sacrificing speed.

A longboard and a funboard hybrid can make it easier to find stability on a heavier board, and can also serve as a good transition from a longboard to another style.

Paddle a SUP instead, a board you can use in any body of water. A SUP is a stable, standing paddle board that can be used to surf very small waves and, with skill, surf larger waves. You can use it in freshwater too, so if you have the surfing itch and live nowhere near an ocean, you can bring this to the lake to start learning.

EditConsidering the Specifics
Ask yourself what conditions and waves you plan to surf. When shopping for a new board, the types of waves you intend to ride and the conditions of the locations you plan on surfing at play a role in what choices you should make about your next surfboard. You don’t want to bring a sup to the infamous Mavericks at Half Moon Bay, CA for example.[3]
Smaller surfboards are great for tackling midsize to large waves and for maneuvering quickly in tall and narrow waves.

Large surfboards can help to keep you in the water when the weather starts turning sour, and are great for small to medium sized waves.

Decide whether you want your board’s material to be epoxy, polyester, or foam. Most commonly surfboards are made of one of three materials: epoxy,polyester, and foam.[4] There are certainly other materials used in surfboards, such as balsa wood, but these are far less common than these three materials.
An epoxy surfboard is very light and can handle high speeds

A polyester surfboard is affordable and can handle unpredictable wave patterns

A foam surfboard is usually recommended to beginners for its low risk of injury and its comfort on the water.

Consider the setup of fins on your surfboard. Beginners don’t need to worry too much about fin placement and the tail, but if you want to advance your surfing ability, knowing how to alter the shape of your board to suit your needs can get you to the next level of surfmanship. There are usually up to 5 fins on a surfboard, depending on what types of waves you plan on tackling, with three fins being the most common setup.[5]
1 and 2 fin surfboards can’t handle large and giant waves

4 and 5 fin surfboards have a harder time with small waves than medium-sized ones.[6]

Look for surfboards slightly larger than you think you need. Large surfboards tend to be more stable, making it easier for you to get to the waves and to be able to keep your balance while surfing. Professional surfer Jesse Merle-Jones suggests that most people who have issues with their surfboard simply have one that is too small.[7]

EditPurchasing a Surfboard
Get to know local surfboard shapers. Local shapers can customize a surfboard to your specifications and needs, and knowing a handful of local shapers can open up your options for a new surfboard immensely. Having a close relationship with a shaper who knows your weight and preferences for surfing can make the difference in buying a good board and buying a great one.
If you know a shaper who is located near a favorite surfing spot of yours, they may have specific recommendations for surfing in the area.

Try using a rental version of the board style you want. This can show you whether you really are able to handle a shortboard or a fish board, or can lead you towards an option that feels right for you. Don’t be afraid to shell out a few dollars now to test and learn different surfboard styles before committing to a much larger investment down the road.

Test the board in the best conditions you possibly can. This will help you get a feel for riding the new board without having to worry about inclement weather or unpredictable waters. Find a location with good weather and look out for groups of other surfers in the water to find a good spot to catch waves repeatedly and see if it works for you. If you can catch waves, stay balanced, and feel comfortable riding it, congratulations!
If your board doesn’t seem as comfortable or functional as you thought, you may not be able to return it, but you can often take it to a shaper to get it refurbished.[8]

Be honest about your weight, your level of fitness, and your level of skill when buying a surfboard. You may be disappointed with the effectiveness of your surfboard if you don’t have it tailored to your physical specifications.

Unlike many sports, using the equipment that surfing professionals use is not recommended. Just because you have the same surfboard as Kelly Slater, it doesn’t mean you will magically be able to surf like he does, and you will likely find yourself disappointed and unable to take to the waves with it at all.

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