The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

September 16, 2013

Here and gone

OTTUMWA — The butterfly expert asked the little girl what the audience seemed to think was a strange question: What would Mom say if she put a big plate of macaroni and cheese in front of the child, and the girl took off her shoes and stuck her feet into her dinner?

The little girl wasn’t quite sure. But she did admit Mom might be surprised. Yet that’s just how butterflies taste their food, explained Kathleen Zeimer of Des Moines.

That and other facts kept the attention of more than 20 visitors at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center on Saturday. Zeimer gave a presentation on butterflies, then let the center naturalist tag and release the butterflies she’d brought with her.

Butterflies come from caterpillars, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, Zeimer said. But there is a plan there: For example, the muscles once used for walking become the muscles used to flap the wings for flying.

The creatures then pollinate flowers, and look for mates.

They’ve got to hurry: Annette Whitrock, naturalist at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center, said most butterflies in Iowa live only about 15 days. Even most longer-lived types measure their lifespan is months, not years. The monarchs we see next year will be the descendants of those that head south from Iowa this winter.

Zeimer said monarch butterflies could start migrating south any time now. They appeared to be waiting for a natural trigger, like temperature or shorter daylight hours. But there are more than just the famous monarchs to enjoy, she said.

“There are about 100 different butterfly [varieties] in Iowa,” she said.

She talked about the different ways to attract butterflies, including using “butterfly gardens.” Asked why such gardens work some times and not others, her suggestion was to make sure there’s plenty of water, use pollen producing plants and, since butterflies don’t see very well, supply a larger target. That means instead of a yellow and red flower here and there, put a whole bunch of yellow flowers in one area, and a whole bunch of red in another area so they can be seen.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wapello building remains county property OTTUMWA — An option to sell the Wapello building in downtown Ottumwa to River Hills Community Health Center was nixed by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening. On March 5, River Hills Community Health Center CEO Richard Johnson wrot

    March 12, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National