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Go Butterfly Watching with a Pro


Follow Bryan Pfeiffer – aka “Butterfly Man” – as he leads a group of butterfly aficionados looking for these beautiful winged creatures at Eagle Hill Institute in Maine.


- Any day outside is a good day.

(suspenseful marimba music) They tell you in butterfly guide school, don't swing and hit the participants in the head.

Watch the edges, where they're looking for violets.

Wait, is that monarch, or a viceroy?

(marimba music) Everyone, it's our first viceroy of the trip!

- [Woman Off Camera] Oh, it's beautiful!

- Whoa, sulfur here.

You can see my ADHD is kicking in.

Right here.

Oh, God.

That's a pink-edged sulphur.

(marimba music) This thing is gorgeous.

One of the things I love about butterflies and moths is the sense of intimacy that we have with them.

It's a Harris' Checkerspot.

I may never visit with leopards on the Serengeti, I might never get to the Arctic to see polar bears.

(camera clicks) But we don't have to go far to see these insects.

We just need to look in our own gardens, in our own backyards, and if you've not spent time with them before, there is diversity, and beauty, and elegance, and grace, and brutality, and the struggle for existence, here at your feet.

And all you need to do is stop and look.


Okay, well that's nice.

It's gonna pad our species list for here.

What do you got?



One of the greater fritillaries.

What a beautiful animal.

You know, when you spend time with these insects, you realize that in many ways, they really run the place.

That our big brains and our bipedalism and our opposable thumbs have nothing on three, four hundred million years of evolution by means of natural selection.

These animals, you know, they got it together.

Here's a ringlet, right?

Bouncing around on marionette strings.

Coenonympha tullia.

I love the sense of euphoria that people get, and the light that comes on when people say, 'You mean these have been living in my garden and in my yard, and I just didn't know they were there?'

It's just so small, and so damn cute.

You will want to quit your job, sell your house, and become a lepidopterist.

And work to conserve these butterflies for as long as you walk this Earth.

I mean, that's how powerful they can be.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, my God!

Look at this Bronze Copper!

I get to be, you know, a 60-year-old kid, running around a field with a butterfly net.


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