My connection to nature and wildlife began as a young child growing up in Germany. Whether hiking the Alps, walking amidst pine forests gathering mushrooms or picking wild heather along the Atlantic, my appreciation of natural surroundings grew into a love of creating native garden spaces. Having resided along the east coast, Midwest, California and now Tampa, my gardens included native plants to sustain the local habitat and wild life, especially butterflies!! Over the years, I’ve noticed a decline in the butterfly population. Four years ago, I expanded my landscaping to include both host and nectar plants to attract and sustain area butterflies. I started with planting milkweed, and within a short time, I noticed an increase of Monarchs in my yard. The bright orange “aerial ballet” over my flowers, encouraged me to research which host and nectar plants would attract other Florida butterflies to my “postage stamp” sized yard. As my passion for “increasing the migration” grew, my butterfly gardens expanded over the years, now nurturing Monarchs, Queens, Gulf fritillaries, Swallowtails, and Sulphers to name a few. I also incorporate small container pots, filled with milkweed, pentas, and other nectar flowers. My privacy fence is covered with Passion Vine, planted in a large pot, Pipe Vine on a trellis, and garden pots filled with herbs: Rue, Parsley and Dill. I’m happiest searching for eggs and larvae and seeing the growth and metamorphosis process. What started with one milkweed plant, has evolved into a passion to raise the Butterfly population, my wish is for future generations to share in the wonderment of watching a butterfly in flight! As a member of NABA - Tampa Bay Chapter, I welcome and happy to meet like minded people as we join together to “ raise the migration” and conserve butterflies in our area!