Hello! My name is Julie Arlinghaus and I am majoring in Environmental Science at Northern Kentucky University. Welcome to my blog following my journey as an intern with the Boone County Conservation District. This is my first internship so welcome to the real world of getting up early and heading to work. However, so far, my journey has not felt much like work. I suppose that is what happens when one is doing something, they are passionate about.
The first few days of my journey entailed of running through the Boone County fields catching butterflies and getting in touch with my creative side. As many may know, the Monarch butterfly migration is underway in the tristate. Like many of Kentucky’s snowbirds who flock to Florida each year to escape Kentucky’s relentless winter wonderland of cold, snowy conditions; many of these beauties have begun their travels towards Mexico’s warm weather. In order to better understand this fascinating phenomenon, Monarchs are tagged with small stickers that adhere to their wings. That is where I come in, or should I say run in? Chasing down these little guys can be quite exhausting. Who knew something so small could move so fast and fly so high with ease? When I finally chased down my first Monarch, I was disappointed to learn it was just its look-a-like, the Viceroy. Eventually, I hope to tag my first Monarch. Until then, I am enjoying helping the next generation learn about these butterflies and other insects through the environmental education programs offered by the district. These interactive lesson plans incorporate learning, a hands-on activity, and a craft. It is inspiring to see kids who are so enthusiastic about our environment and to see them chasing down butterflies in hopes of catching their very first Monarch. I look forward to learning and seeing what is instore for me next.
Until next time,