(Mission, TX) – Author Sharman Apt Russell, keynote speaker for the 19th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival, has written on a variety of themes, from The Anatomy of a Rose: Exploring the Secret Life of Flowers, to Hunger: An Unnatural History. She’s also explored pantheism, American archeology, the myth of the Cowboy and citizen science, among other topics, in her storied career as a creative non-fiction writer.
What do all of these themes have in common?
“I am drawn to subjects that interest me and fuel me,” explains Russell, “Things that give me energy, and most of these revolve around my appreciation for the natural world. I find climate change, bioregionalism, environmental activism and conservation to be at the heart of what motivates me, and the advantage I have as a generalist, concerned with these issues, is that I am not a scientist; I can be interdisciplinary and approach these subjects wholly, through history, psychology, art and anthropology.”
(Mission, TX) – You're invited to experience the splendor of migration at the 19th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival! Hosted by the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, the nation’s premier butterflying event brings people from all around the world to the Rio Grande Valley to enjoy the unique volume and variety of wild butterflies that may only be found, here. This 4-day festival features a FREE Community Day, Saturday, November 1, as well as three days of paid excursions, educational sessions and expert-guided trips to private gardens and renowned public places, including hot spots and hard-to-find places familiar to local butterfly enthusiasts.
Photographing Butterflies, Birds and Bugs, a class for those who wish to take better pictures of small insects and birds, whether stationary or on the fly, will be offered Sunday, November 2. Luciano Guerra, a life-long Valley resident and award-winning photographer will be your instructor for this course.
Texas Quilt Museum's First National Competition Debuts in Mission
It's difficult for me to consider the beauty of butterflies, flowers and so much more, without giving thought to their designer-creator. It's the same with Butterfly Whirl: Contemporary Quilt Art, a touring collection of twenty-six original works of art selected by Dr. Sandra Sider, curator of the Texas Quilt Museum. The quilts that made the cut for this national exhibit represent the best of some of today's most innovative American artists working in the medium.
“This is not your grandmother's quilt.”
Sharon Buck, creator of the Impressionist-inspired piece titled, What Butterflies See, has a background in painting. The beautiful scene depicted in her quilt shows a landscape dotted with butterflies made by the artist's own hand.
“I really gravitate toward organic themes,” explains Buck, who splits her time between Tennessee and Florida. “This particular scene portrays summer in the Smoky Mountains. I dyed much of the fabric myself, and screen printed some of it with leaves. Much of this was done outdoors, so my quilt is truly connected to nature.”
North American Butterfly Photo Contest Opens September 1
(Mission, TX) The North American Butterfly Photo Contest invites you to submit your best photos of free-flying butterflies, for a chance to win the $500 ‘Rio Grande Prix’! Part of the 19th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival, this contest is open to everyone in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and accepts digital photos of live butterflies taken from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014. It’s easy to enter and the winning photograph will be prominently displayed at the National Butterfly CenterTM and online, for the whole world to see.
Grab your camera—or phone—and go chase butterflies!” states Marianna Trevino Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, host of the Texas Butterfly Festival, “You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get that one great shot and win cash in this contest. Even last year’s winner got lucky, when we unexpectedly captured two butterflies in one frame for the fascinating image that won over the judges.”
(Mission, TX) It’s time, again, for the Mission-McAllen Butterfly Count, Sunday, July 20!
Each July, volunteers across the country brave the sweltering summer sun to count butterflies. The data these citizen-conservationists gather provides a valuable, real-time snapshot for scientists, naturalists, and anyone concerned about environmental change, habitat loss, and disappearing or endangered species.
The count on Sunday, July 20, is the ‘Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley Count’, coordinated by the National Butterfly Center. This annual survey of species variety and volume inside a 15-mile radius is conducted by knowledgeable, local butterfly enthusiasts, covering public and private properties. The information collected is catalogued by the North American Butterfly Association and used for a multitude of research, education and conservation projects.