butterflies
We doubt there will be this many butterflies to count on Saturday, but you never know. | Courtesy of Butterfly Biosphere Reserves of Colonial, Mexico

It seems to us like counting butterflies would be as challenging as counting stars, but what do we know? University of Louisville biology professor emeritus Charles Covell plans to catalog all the butterflies he can find on Saturday, July 6, and he’s looking for some help.

The annual count is open to both children and adults and takes place at UofL’s Horner Wildlife Sanctuary in Oldham County. Along with the flighty task of counting the winged insects that’ll probably be trying to get away from humans as quickly as possible, the event will feature several other butterfly specialists who will share their knowledge of the species, along with Covell.

“Here’s an opportunity to view a number of common Kentucky butterflies and learn their names and a little bit about their life histories and benefit to us as pollinators, food for birds and other animals and often-overlooked objects of beauty,” said Covell, co-founder of the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists, in a news release.

Charles Covell
Charles Covell has conducted his annual butterfly count since 1976. | Courtesy of UofL

Along with starting that group in 1974 with the mission of studying Kentucky’s butterflies and moths, Covell is the author of “Butterflies and Moths of Kentucky” and the 1984 “Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.

And although he retired from UofL in 2004, he returns each year for the count. He currently lives in Gainesville, Fla., serving as the adjunct curator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity.

If you’re interested in participating on Saturday, the meeting time is 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Sugar Babe Antiques, 7511 Highway 329 in Crestwood. The count will run until 3 p.m., but you don’t have to stay the entire time.

Covell suggests you wear hats, hiking shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts — and most importantly, wear sunscreen. Also, you should probably pack a lunch and bring water. Cameras, binoculars and notebooks will be provided.

For more details, you can email Covell at [email protected].

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."