Young Cumberland naturalist releases more butterflies

Young Cumberland naturalist releases more butterflies

Amelia Shapiro-Macbeth, a 7-year-old amateur naturalist from Cumberland, holds one of 10 Monarch butterflies she is about to release last Saturday at her family’s home. She has raised and studied butterflies for three years, releasing more than 100 last year. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

CUMBERLAND – Amelia Shapiro-Macbeth is a 7-year-old amateur naturalist with a goal of becoming an entomologist, said her mom, Lesley. This is her third year raising and studying butterflies.

Over the weekend, Amelia released her latest batch of Monarch butterflies. Her three favorite general types of insects are butterflies, praying mantises, and stick insects, and she can share loads of information about all of them with anyone who will listen.

Amelia says she is very passionate about butterfly conservation.

This year she has raised and released four species of native butterflies. She has largely taken over the planting in much of the family’s garden with host species of native butterflies.

The family keeps logs each year on how many and what type of butterflies she has raised and released.

Amelia, 7, of Cumberland, raises monarch butterflies. She explained how she harvests their eggs off the milkweed in her garden, watches them become caterpillars, then turn into a chrysalis, and finally become butterflies, which she then releases to fly off and become free.
One of the butterflies that Amelia has raised clings to her hand last Saturday at her home in Cumberland.
Amelia says she loves bugs including praying mantises, which she provides a home for in the garden around her house. This particular insect is so familiar with her it has no problem staying comfortably on her hand.