(Mission, TX) – It’s time to grab your camera and get outside because your best butterfly photo could net $500 in the North American Butterfly Photo Contest, hosted by the National Butterfly CenterTM conveniently located in Mission!
The Rio Grande Valley is unique for the volume and variety of butterflies that may be found here, and they just love the summer heat. Lucky for you, many species start flying around 9am—as soon as the sun is high enough to dry the morning dew off their wings—and they keep flying well into the evening hours, before finding a safe place to roost overnight.
This annual contest is open to everyone and winners are announced each fall during the renowned Texas Butterfly Festival. Complete rules may be seen and shared here. All photos must be digitally uploaded to the website portal that opens for submissions on September 1, 2016, and remains open until September 30. Photos may be taken anywhere over the last year, so long as they feature free-flying butterflies; but the time is right, now, since our magic Valley is alive with butterflies and blooms following recent rains.
“Thanks to our camera phones, anyone can capture amazing images,” states Marianna Trevino Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, “And some butterflies can be remarkably cooperative subjects. They may be found in backyards and parks, green spaces and wild places, so you don’t have to go far to enjoy them, which makes nature photography a hobby accessible to all! You don’t have to be a professional or own lots of expensive equipment to get that one great shot—a prize-winning shot—that tells a story or exposes a hidden world. In fact, past winners have included a medical practice manager and an electrical engineer.
“One of the best ways to help people connect with wildlife and promote conservation is through a camera lens,’ continues Wright. “For this reason, the contest is a powerful tool for showing people the beauty and mystery of these remarkable creatures. Participation in the North American Butterfly Photo Contest is intended to inspire appreciation of wild butterflies and advance our mission of preserving and protecting these precious pollinators.”
It’s easy to enter and rewarding to win, so everyone is encouraged to enjoy this active past time for the love of butterflies. The winning photograph will be prominently displayed at the National Butterfly Center and online, for the whole world to see and contest prizes include $500 for the Grand Prize, $250 for 1st Runner Up, and $100 each for Honorable Mentions.
The 21st Annual Texas Butterfly Festival held in Mission, Texas, is the country’s premier butterflying event, featuring expert instructors and guided field trips to private gardens, public lands and hard-to-find hot spots. Online registration for the festival is open, and some activities are already sold out. Please see the full schedule at www.texasbutterflyfestival.com.
The National Butterfly Center is committed to ‘Growing Connections’ between people, plants, and the winged wonders that pollinate and propagate all that grows around us. We do this through educational and environmental initiatives that cultivate meaningful understanding of the parties and processes that create sustainable ecosystems. The Center is open to the public, for visitors and members, seven days/week.
To learn more about the National Butterfly Center, and how you can join us, visit www.nationalbutterflycenter.org. Your annual membership or charitable gift impacts the beauty of our community and helps preserve the biologically diverse, natural treasures of deep South Texas.