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CROOKED GARDEN VISITOR: Noted lepidopterist and prolific writer, Robert M. Pyle, Ph.D.
On Wednesday March 12th, 2008, the Crooked Garden at Pelican Preserve was extremely fortunate to have the noted lepidopterist (butterfly expert), and writer Robert M. Pyle, as it's guest. Crooked Garden curator, James Price and Pelican Preserve Horticulturist, Robert Cranor, hosted Dr. Robert Pyle's visit as they spent the afternoon observing and discussing the plants and butterflies of The Crooked Garden.

Dr. Robert Pyle and Curator James Price in the Crooked Garden March 12, 2008Dr. Pyle was very impressed with our 12,000+ sq. ft. [in 2009 it was expanded to 17, 345 sq, ft.] community butterfly garden, and told the curator that the Crooked Garden had the most volume of nectar plants, including an abundance of host plants, that he has ever seen, and "It [the Crooked Garden] is one of finest and loveliest butterfly gardens that I have ever visited."

This most fortunate visit to the Crooked Garden was posted in Dr. Pyle's BLOG as he traveled throughout the year of 2008 undertaking a historic journey to find, experience, and identify as many of the approximately 800 species of butterflies as possible in the United States and Canada. The literary fruits of this project were published by the Houghton Mifflin Company as a book entitled Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year. Robert Pyle was seeking as many species as he could find of the nearly 800 butterfly species recorded in North America north of Mexico, although the numbers were secondary to his in-depth encounters with the butterfly fauna. To update Butterfly-A-Thon participants on his progress, Robert Pyle sent regular updates from the road, that were posted on the Butterfly-A-Thon blog. 

"And the kind dentist, Dr Alan Rembos
[of Naples, Florida], tipped me off to the Crooked Garden in Pelican Preserve, Fort Myers -- one of the best
[butterfly gardens] I've ever seen. Amid oceans of nectar and a flurry of butterflies, I saw 12 species, including queens, zebras, and orange-barred sulphurs."
the size of small birds."

Noted Butterfly expert Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D., reporting "from the road" to Orion Magazine

Click here for Robert Pyle's Biography Robert Pyle founded The Xerces Society in 1971. The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. For forty years, the Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.


Including his newest book, Mariposa Road, he has published some sixteen books, including such butterfly classics as the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, the Handbook for Butterfly Watchers, and The Butterflies of Cascadia, as well as several award-winning literary works such as Wintergreen, The Thunder Tree, Where Bigfoot Walks, Walking the High Ridge, and Sky Time in Gray's River.