Our guest writer this week, Hannelore Jenner, is a naturalist who loves butterflies. She has spent years studying and raising them by using her garden as the laboratory. She raises many from the egg to emergence and releases all of her beauties back into her garden, where flowers full of nectar and food for caterpillars await. This is a recipe for butterflies who do not eat nectar.
1 banana, peeled.
12 oz beer.
16 oz dark brown sugar.
1 or 2 whole bananas to serve the brew.
1 hanging plate on a pole.
Combine first three ingredients in a blender and mix well. Let rest in a warm place, lightly covered, until it starts to ferment.
Cut a ¼” slit in the whole banana and fill with mixture. Place the banana on a hanging plate and place in a sunny spot in your garden. This mixture is attractive to all non-nectaring butterflies. Store leftover mixture in the refrigerator and fill whole banana as needed.
Ripe fruit can also be added to the plate.
Fruit plates are fun to have in your garden. If you are setting up for photography the nailed-down plate works better because it eliminates movement. Butterflies feeding on fermented fruit get drunk and don't move very fast. I keep my banana mixture fresh and the butterflies alert. This will give them a better chance against predators.
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