Butterflies are free …


… or maybe not.

Admire these delicate creatures all you want, but today you had to bring along a donation to do so, that is, if you were visiting Felty Farms, a haven for butterflies.  The donation was your choice of any item from Verne Felty’s wish list to help out local animal shelters.

So, for the price of a six-pack of paper towels, I enjoyed an afternoon with lovers of nature and beauty, and, I’m sure PAWS Clinic, Lucky Day Animal Rescue, NBS Animal Rescue and Wonderland Rabbit Rescue put that donation to good use.

There is no doubt that there is delight in discovering a beautiful butterfly that has alighted on a flower in your garden.  You can’t help but marvel at the beauty of such a delicate creature as a Monarch or Swallowtail, but even the little Cabbage Whites can make you smile as they hover and dance about the garden on a sunny day.

I read about an event called an “open butterfly garden” in the local paper and it piqued my interest, so I decided to visit this home on Windermere Circle in Southgate this afternoon.

I knew this would be something special as I walked toward the house and saw the exquisite landscaping out front.

“Felty Farms” is the name given to Verne Felty’s humongous backyard garden in which her many perennials are planted for the sole purpose of attracting butterflies.


From the very moment I entered the yard, I was mesmerized by this paradise.


Where perennials don’t grow, there are whimsical containers brimming with annuals and imaginative yard art is nestled between plants or popping up in every available space.  Several pathways constructed of wooden planks or soft mulch took visitors around the various areas of the yard where there was a Monarch Waystation, a segregated area where milkweed, the lifeblood of the Monarch butterfly was planted, and a very sophisticated scarecrow reigns over the garden as well.



Purple blooms from butterfly bushes lure butterflies and bees, and when a dainty Red Admiral butterfly alighted onto a bloom to sip that sweet nectar, at least ten people pulled out their phones or cameras and stood poised, waiting for that delicate creature to spread its wings so we could collectively take in the full beauty with our naked eye as well as the camera lens.


After we clicked away, we were additionally rewarded for our patience when that Red Admiral Butterfly stretched for us and soon even more oohs and ahhs and cameras clicking was heard.


The butterflies seemingly would have been the main attraction in this gorgeous yard, but they were a bit scarce today as it was overcast.  Butterflies love the sunshine, and like to sun themselves on a flat rock.  Perhaps the crowd scared the bulk of them away as well.

But the bees were not intimidated by this gathering of garden lovers.  They were busying themselves inside the butterfly bush blooms trying to sip the sweet nectar.  When people began waving their arms as the bees hovered close by, we were told that these were Carpenter Bees and they were harmless.


I was certainly not the only person infatuated with the Koi fish pond with its huge inhabitants.  I’ve only seen pictures of these beauties and the Koi fish were the hit of this event for old and young alike.  A waterfall splashed down into the pool which was filled with pond lilies and surrounded by colorful annuals and lush greenery.  Some children were bending down close to admire the fish, so they were given some fish food to dole out.  Everyone gathered around as the Koi fish grouped in one corner, eager to devour their lunch.



Around and around I went, ensuring I didn’t miss a single flowering plant or creative garden treasure tucked amongst those blooms.


My last stop was climbing the wooden steps to the deck to see Elvira, a 7-year old Shih Tzu, who was spotlighted on the news, after this severely abused dog was rescued by NBS Animal Rescue, where she is still recovering from her injuries almost one year later.


I enjoyed strolling through this butterfly garden and came away with the same peaceful feeling from this paradise that I had when I walked through Council Point Park earlier on a quiet Sunday morning.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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22 Responses to Butterflies are free …

  1. Verne Felty says:

    I am so touched. these rescue groups that I help are also so appreciative and do many wonderful things to help the animals without a voice. Thank you for your kindness


    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you for your comments Verne. It is very heartening in a world filled with such discord, that people come together to provide to these animals which have met unfortunate circumstances, and, as you say, are without a voice. You brought many people together to provide help to these poor defenseless animals and everyone was so happy to do so.


  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….I’m amazed on how beautiful Verne’s butterfly Garden is……………….I’m going to try to go and visit over there since i think it’s quite close……..thanks for your awesome pictures and information


  3. lindasschaub says:

    Ann Marie – it was really spectacular. Back in 2010 I had a lot of flowers and butterfly bushes planted to lure butterflies and also butterfly houses for protection for them. But I lost so many plants after the Polar Vortex I and II and never went back to recreate how the garden looked. But my garden was nothing like this one – it is incredible.


  4. clarejk2014 says:

    Such a beautiful garden and a lovely idea. Fantastic pictures of the butterfly too. I find it incredibly difficult to take wildlife photos. They usually won’t stay in one place long enough for me! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Verne Felty says:

    We will be having our Open Butterfly Garden Event again this year. August 26th from noon to 4 pm. Please join us and help NBS Animal Rescue. Currently I have 90 Monarch Chrysalis just waiting to emerge…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you so much for telling me Verne. I would like to visit again and it is for such a good cause. I will tell my friend Ann Marie about it as well – she lives in Southgate not too far from you – she is the woman who came by a few days later to “sneak a peek” and she picked up the Petoskey stone shaped like a mitten. I just thought of this event a few days ago because over the weekend I visited the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park. I’ve lived here 52 years and first time I’ve visited there. Usually there is a private event – but this time there was no events and I was free to roam about. I saw several butterflies, thought I would see more amongst the beautiful flowers. I hope we have beautiful weather that day – I know it was a little overcast and you said that overcast day might have given us a few less butterflies than normal.


    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Verne – I just sent you a direct message on Facebook with the link, but I am also posting the link to today’s event here as you are following comments. I had many more photos of the garden and donations, but the post kept getting longer and longer – I used some photos of the flowers with the butterflies and bees. Here you go: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/07/14/beauty-is-fleeting/


  6. Verne Felty says:

    We will be having another Open Garden July 14th to benefit rescue. I hope to see everyone there. It will be from noon to 4 pm. The theme will be Christmas in July

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      This is good to know Verne … I knew in my head it was usually around Labor Day, so I would like to attend and I will tell my friend Ann Marie. She is the one who picked up the charm I won in 2017. Thank you for letting me know.


  7. Verne Felty says:

    We are having two this year. One in July (the 14th) and one in September when the Monarchs are in full swing. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Oh, that is good to know Verne – I will let Ann Marie know about that one too – they usually do a story in the local paper – I’ve already written down the July 14th date. I got a DSLR last year and am hoping to use it more this year. I usually just take the compact digital camera with me on walks every day as it is handier. Thanks for keeping me in the loop Verne! It is a good cause. I walked on May 11th in Dearborn at the Mutt Strut Walk and Run/Walk – it was a lot of fun and many dogs were there walking or running with their owners – all well behaved considering all shapes and sizes. They have a large shelter in Dearborn and it is fairly new, a no-kill shelter. This was the post I wrote: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2019/05/11/who-let-the-dogs-out/


  8. Margy says:

    The garden is an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Beauty is fleeting … | WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

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