MIDDLETOWN: BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE

Can a butterfly delicately flapping its wings somewhere on Earth set off a chain of world-shaking events half a planet away? If so, it stands to reason that anyone who ignores an opportunity to do some butterfly spotting at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown is potentially passing up some truly epic levels of excitement.

Whether it’s an eastern tiger swallowtail (seen above) or any of the many other species that pass through the Greater Red Bank Green during the warmer weather months, you may see some of our quietest and most colorful neighbors as if for the first time in a free Butterfly Walk that takes to the walkways of Deep Cut Friday morning.

One of the real must-see gems of the Monmouth County Park System, the horticultural facility at 152 Red Hill Road in Middletown (directly across from another county resource, Tatum Park) is noted for its greenhouse, educational garden, activity center, sculpted rose parterre and scenic pergola. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday, it becomes a picture-perfect setting in which to learn about our friends in the order lepidoptera, during a guided walk conducted by a park system naturalist.

The hour-long walking lecture, which may be slightly over one mile in length, is open to ages 7 and up, with all participants under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult. Simply meet up in the parking lot — and if you can’t be there this Friday, mark your calendar for upcoming Butterfly Walk sessions at other local outlets of the county park system, including Sunnyside Equestrian Center (July 14) and Thompson Park (August 25).