Good afternoon all my faithful readers! It's such a glorious day today. Why is it glorious?
It is that magical time of year when summer transitions into autumn. The leaves are slowly changing, the air gets more crisp, and of course, wildlife is everywhere. This time of year is when many birds and butterflies start their southern migration route. Since I now live on the east coast, I see more species of fauna than ever before. You see, the east is a very important migration route for Monarch Butterflies, and many species of warblers and raptors. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird also descends this way during its migration.
Last weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Hershey Gardens in the famous city of Hershey, PA. If the name makes you think of chocolate, that's because that's where the Hershey Candy business started. Right across the street from Hershey Gardens is the popular tourist destination Hershey Park. It is a chocolate themed amusement park filled with many attractions. Of course, being the little backwoods-lovin' country girl that I am, I had no interest in the place. I only wanted to walk the gardens and commune with nature. Despite the fact that the garden is so close to the amusement park, it's actually very quiet.
Walking up to the gardens, there are fields of Black-Eyed Susans and tall grass. There are also several potted plants and flowers as well as a picnic area surrounded by evergreens. At the end of the paved trail, there is a beautifully decorated building that almost resembles a greenhouse. There is a souvenir shop, glass ceilings, and plants everywhere. You have to pay an admission fee to get into the Butterfly Atrium, but it's well worth it! The money goes towards research and care for the butterflies, and it's very obvious how much the staff at the atrium adore the butterflies. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly as she pointed out the different species of butterflies in the atrium and explained their behaviour and diet.
You can visit their website here: https://www.hersheygardens.org/attractions/butterfly-house
The outdoor butterfly garden is closed, but there are still wild butterflies such as monarchs and fritillaries fluttering about. There are also many different species of birds as the garden is filled with many different types of feeders. The birds we spotted were: Grey Catbird, American Goldfinch, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Black-Capped/Carolina Chickadee, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Turkey Vulture, Eastern Phoebe, House Sparrow, and of course, the American Crow.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and I can't wait to go back! Here are some photos from the trip. To see more, please view them in my online gallery. Enjoy!