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Attendees Aflutter At CVHF’s Mindful For Monarchs Event



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It was a breezy afternoon at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation’s (CVHF) animal sanctuary on Old Farm Road, but that did not keep “Sunday at the Sanctuary: Mindful for Monarchs” from taking place there September 20.

The organization’s Sunday at the Sanctuary series features free activities for all ages to enjoy as they connect with nature and its living creatures. The ongoing program honors the compassion for all animals shown by 6-year-old Catherine Hubbard, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012.

Mindful for Monarchs focused on exploring the wonders of many pollinators, including bees and monarch butterflies.

All participants were asked to register ahead of attending one of the two available sessions and masks were required.

Newtown resident Sandy Schill was on site with Marsha Vetare to show guests the marvelous life cycle of monarch butterflies. The two brought examples of caterpillars, chrysalises, and the awe-inspiring final stage: a butterfly ready to fly off for migration.

Due to the weather’s higher-than-expected winds, Schill did not tag and release any butterflies, but said one lucky lady butterfly that was with her in a safe enclosure would be released Monday in Norwalk by Vetare.

There were plenty of other living creatures flying, hopping, and scurrying freely around the property’s meadows to the delight of participants. Sweep nets were offered to give children the opportunity to temporarily catch insects, peer at them, then release them.

Nature experts were on site at tents spaced throughout the property to help educate attendees about all the living creatures, visiting or residing, at the sanctuary property. Among the educators were entomologist Dr Rayda Krell and Audubon Center Bent of the River representative Ken Elkins.

For more information about upcoming Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation events, visit cvhfoundation.org.

Pictured from left is Adriana Miodonka with her friend, Hailey Velsmid, and sister, Hailey Miodonka, who painted butterflies together at the arts and crafts area during the CVHF’s “Sunday at the Sanctuary: Mindful for Monarchs” event on September 20. Participants looking to paint were directed to designated circles drawn on the grass to follow social distancing practices. —Bee Photos, Silber
Marsha Vetare holds a branch with two small, dangling butterfly chrysalises to showcase the life cycle of a monarch. Also on hand was a container of older, dried chrysalises that butterflies had already broken through.
A yellow-and-black monarch caterpillar inches along on a leaf held by Marsha Vetare.
Sandy Schill holds a poster displaying the life cycle of a butterfly while at the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation’s Sunday at the Sanctuary event on September 20.
Sunday at the Sanctuary participants were invited to use sweep nets in the fields to collect insects and bring them back to entomologist Dr Rayda Krell and Ken Elkins of Audubon Center Bent of the River to learn about.
Ken Elkins of Audubon Center Bent of the River holds up a goldenrod gall, which was among many pieces of nature he had on display for attendees to view up close. He was on site to teach about the jobs different insects have and how people can help celebrate pollinators.
Across the sanctuary, past the garden beds, CVHF volunteer Dominic Corsi works by himself building an apiary where the sanctuary will have its beehives.
During the event, a chalk sign at the sanctuary encouraged everyone to choose kindness with its message, “In a world where you can be anything… be kind!”
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