Worth the Price of Admission
by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager. Photo by Carole Mebus.
Mariton’s Bird Group has a saying: “That was worth the price of admission.” It usually refers to one (or several) finds on a particular outing. It could be a special bird, flower, or butterfly. Or it could be an event like finding a nest, or watching an adult bird feed its young. At the end of the walk, people reflect on what was special to them. It is a joke because the cost for the walks is free. The price of admission is actually getting up in the morning and going out to enjoy and experience what Nature presents to us. A simple fee with great rewards.
On Tuesday, our price of admission sighting was a Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus). Virginia somehow spotted this very uncommon (and tiny) butterfly on a Garlic Mustard flower head. It posed for several minutes and everyone got a chance to see it. There were several Eastern Red Cedars nearby which is the major food plant for this species.
That Juniper Hairstreak was definitely worth getting out of bed and traveling to a different location with binoculars and a few field guides. This was technically billed as a “Bird Walk”. Fourtunately, our group doesn’t let that get in the way of wonderful discoveries everytime we go afield.
Every day, you and I have the opportunity to have that price of admission moment, whether it is in our back yards or the local natural area. The trick is putting ourselves in the situation that makes it possible. It costs nothing, but definitely requires something of us.