Thursday, April 02, 2015

54th Annual Banquet "Butterflies of Indiana"


This year, the banquet will be held Wednesday, April 15, 2015, beginning at 6:00 pm in the MCL Restaurant, 25th and Ohio Blvd in Terre Haute, Indiana.  The cost of the banquet is $20.00 per person to be paid at the door.  Please make your reservation by contacting Phil Cox, by April 10th via email or phone:, 765-548-4007.

Identifying Indiana's Common Butterflies

Jeffrey Belth, author of Butterflies of Indiana: A Field Guide, will introduce us to Indiana's common butterflies and using his photographs will show us how to identify them, even those species which at first glance appear similar. Jeff will also have copies of his book available for purchase. 

The Monarch Butterfly: International Traveler

In this program, Sandy Belth, Assistant Naturalist for Monroe County Parks & Recreation, will describe the life cycle and spectacular migration of the Monarch butterfly. Sandy's presentation will answer such questions as what plants Monarchs rely on to complete their life cycle, how long the life cycle takes to complete, what flowers the adult Monarchs seek out for nectar, and why and how Monarchs undertake their migration to Mexico. For many years the Monarch population has been declining. Sandy will discuss the latest research as to why this is happening and offer some ideas on what we can do to help. She will also include an account of her and Jeff's recent visit to the Monarch's overwintering sites in Mexico.

Jeff Belth has been chasing butterflies since childhood, and photographing them for over 25 years. He has worked for the Indiana State Parks and the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. His book, Butterflies of Indiana: A Field Guide, which he wrote, designed, and illustrated, was published by the Indiana University Press in 2012. It won the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award for best nature guidebook and was hailed by the  News of the Lepidopterists' Society as "unquestionably the finest local butterfly field guide ever produced." He lives near Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife Sandy.

Sandy Belth is a life-long naturalist and has worked for the Indiana State Parks and currently works as a naturalist for the Monroe County Parks and Recreation Department. She presents programs for all ages on a variety of topics, including fossils, animal signs, birds, and butterfly gardening. She is the founder and coordinator of Bug Fest, Bloomington's one-day immersion in the world of insects attended by hundreds of people each year. She is an Indiana Master Gardener and also writes a regular nature column for the  Bloomington Herald-Times. She lives near Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband Jeff.



A Reminder To Our Readers:

The newsletter, Nature News & Notes, is published five times a year - September, October/November, December/January, February/March, April/May.  The Wabash Valley Audubon Society meets September through the month of May.  Our recent newsletters may be read on this website under the "Publications" menu.  

Everyone is welcome to join us regardless of birding and nature expertise level. In fact, most members join us simply to learn more about the natural world around them.

Bird Photo's

The Wabash Valley Audubon Society has several excellent bird photographers.  To view their images, see the "Birds" link in the menu bar near the top of this page.  

Barn Owl, June 2013 by WVAS Member Marty Jones.  Marty currently has many bird photographs on display at the Roly Poly restaurant, 424 Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute.

Joe Dickson, 2014 Mason Award Recipient


The 2014 Wabash Valley Audubon Society James H. Mason Award winner is Joe Dickson.  Joe has been a member of WVAS for 25 years and held the vice-president position for one year, secretary for two years, treasurer for four years and was a general board member for 19 years.

He began a backyard bird list in 1989 and now has 103 species, which include fly-overs such as Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, cormorants, and White-fronted Geese.  A U.S. list was also started at this time, since he travels often.  That list has grown to 486 species.  His Indiana list consists of 286 species, 200 of which have been found in Vigo County.  Joe took up photography as a way to help document the bird species he encountered.  When he photographed a spectacular or rare bird, he printed the photos and has sold many. 

After retiring as a machinist, 11 years ago, he expanded his photos to include the rest of nature, both flora and fauna, since he had more time to study and travel. Until recently, he financed most of his trips and equipment by collecting and recycling aluminum and other metals, usually amounting to $2,000 a year.  Joe's passion is spider conservation and he will educate people anywhere he sees a spider in need.  He has done PowerPoint presentations in multiple sites across the U.S. including California and John G. Dobbs Memorial Grove Nature Center, among others.

Today Joe enjoys monitoring five bluebird houses for WVAS and helps with invasive species removal at John G. Dobbs Memorial Grove.  His other hobbies include leatherworking, creating things, restoring old cars and remodeling his house.

Congratulations Joe on winning this prestigious award.

Bird Identification

Did you know well over 200 different bird species live or migrate through the Wabash Valley each year?  Without help, it is difficult for a beginner to learn birds and their songs.  Fortunately, we are here to help and many people join our society solely for this reason.  Whether you want to just learn the birds visiting your backyard feeder, or wanting to find uncommon birds during migration, the fastest way to learn is by joining us.  We offer field trips and bird identification help events throughout the year.  See the "Calendar of Events" above for upcoming field trips and/or bird identification days at Dobbs Park.

Dr. Marion Jackson tour of the Jackson-Schnyder preserve
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