A little wood satyr perches in a sunny spot. Butterflieshave been among the beneficiaries of restoration.

A tiny dun skipper perches on gray headed coneflower.


The question mark butterfly can be identified by two silvery marks on its hind wing.

A silver-spotted skipper seeks nectar from wild bergamot.

Diary of a Restoration

20th Installment, Aug. 29, 2006

Often when we think of the benefits of restoration, we think at first of the native wildflowers that are allowed to thrive after decades on civilization's back burner.

Or we think of the birds whose beautiful and noisy songs fill the air at the Illinois Raptor Center.

But small things benefit too, including a diverse assortment of butterflies. Sometimes it is hard to imagine where they come from when so little habitat remains.

The buckeye is a beautiful late-season butterfly.

But fortunately for us, they do come and keep coming. Skippers, question marks, buckeyes, monarch, swallowtails, viceroys and others add even more color to the restoration.

But insects do even more. They pollinate the rejuvenated flowers and provide important sources of food for breeding birds. For all the planning and hard work, the restoration couldn't succeed without them.

*Note: Our restoration project started in earnest in Sept. 2002. Check out our other diary entries for more details.

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