Brian has been a Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) member since 2011, and the Butterfly Count was the first LWC event he ever attended. He says, “From there I worked on learning the butterflies in our area, and then I started to learn about their host plant requirements” and discovered his favorite thing in nature — butterfly gardening with native plants.
Through an Audubon at Home site visit, Brian learned about what was in his yard already and “about plants like common violets that are host plants for 3 species of fritillary butterflies: Great Spangled Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, and Meadow Fritillary.” Since then, Brian has added “nearly a host plant for every butterfly common to our region: hackberry trees, wild black cherry trees, false nettle, senna, milkweed, grasses, Ruellia humilis, and on and on” to his landscape. He says, “My garden niche is intermittently wet areas like a swale. Not quite a rain garden as it’s sometimes bone dry in the summer.” His gardens are certified as a Monarch Waystation, a North American Butterfly Association certified butterfly garden, and of course, have received the Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary certification.
Brian continues to volunteer with LWC in the following program areas: Butterfly Count, Christmas Bird Count, Native Plant Sale as a “Knowledgeable Plant Person,” JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary plant surveys and the Harrison Street Meadow. Brian also helps with data collection for Walk for Wildlife and serves as secretary on the LWC Board of Directors. He and his daughter dressed as Bald Eagles for our award-winning 4th of July float in the Leesburg parade. He is currently working towards being a certified Virginia Master Naturalist through the Banshee Reeks Chapter.
Besides LWC, Brian helps moderate the Virginia Native Plant Society Facebook group and often posts about butterflies on the Loudoun Butterflies Habitat and Conservation Facebook group. One of his photos is featured on the cover of our Planting for Wildlife in Northern Virginia guide.
Many thanks to Brian, and to all of our volunteers, for helping make Loudoun a place where people and wildlife thrive together!