Flitter Glitter

Mark Andresen


Here are some fun facts we learned while doing Internet research for this story about Texas Discovery Garden's butterfly gardening workshops at Fair Park: A regal fritillary is a type of butterfly found on North American prairies--not some sort of low-level 18th-century court functionary. (Blast! My royal chamber pot is full. Send for my regal fritillary!)

Milkweed is a good plant for attracting monarch butterflies, in addition to producing pods that are excellent for throwing at your big sister.

Some monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles from the Upper Midwest to Mexico and California, where they spend the winter drinking Coronas, dancing to hip-hop and spraying the T-shirts of buxom female butterflies with ice water. (Not sure about this last one. You know the Internet.)

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But perhaps you would like to learn more about how to attract butterflies to your back yard. For that, we suggest skipping the Internet and attending one of the workshops from 9 a.m. to noon on May 5 and May 8. For $45--$35 for members of the gardens--you will receive a tour, tips from experts and your own flat of butterfly-attracting plants.

The registration deadline is Friday, April 30. Call 214-428-7476. Please hurry and do your part to help these noble, hungry lepidopterans: No one, especially the mayor, wants to see Dallas street corners crowded with butterflies holding signs that read "Will pollinate for food." --Patrick Williams

Wheels in Motion
If your butt hurts after a short bike ride around the block, then just imagine how numb it would be if you pedaled 150 miles from Plano to Ardmore, Oklahoma. But this bike tour isn't called the MS 150 Red River Challenge for nothing. The conscientious goal of the ride is to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis, but it's also advertised as a "two-day party on wheels" with an overnight stay at Lake Texoma State Park. If you decide to take the challenge, then do yourself a favor and invest in some padded shorts. It takes place Saturday and Sunday and costs a $35 registration fee plus a minimum of $200 in pledges. Call 214-373-1400 or visit www.redriverchallenge.ms150.org/rrc. --Jay Webb

Take a Hike

We've considered installing a closet in the trunk of our car to accommodate the variety of outfits necessitated by one day in Texas--anything from a bikini to an overcoat may be required at any time. So we can only hope for a nice "spring" day for the Cedar Ridge Preserve Three Trails Challenge on May 1. Runners and walkers can enjoy a six-mile trek, while families might prefer the .75-mile trail and other kids' activities including a scavenger hunt, naturalist talks and the chance to see a Dallas fire truck. Cost to participate is $15 for individuals and $20 for families. Cedar Ridge Preserve is located at 7171 Mountain Creek Parkway. Call 972-293-5150. --Michelle Martinez

For the Kids

Lymphoma is a blood-related cancer, like leukemia, more common than most other cancers among young people. The LYMPHOMAthon 5K walk at Fair Park on Saturday will be a fund-raiser for patients and their families. Hit with a cancer diagnosis, people often are overwhelmed and have no idea how to proceed. The Lymphoma Foundation helps them get a grip and come up with a plan. Registration will be 9 a.m. at the Tower Building, Fair Park, 3809 Grand Ave. (exit Interstate 30 at Second Avenue, turn into the park at Grand). The walk starts at 10 a.m. with closing ceremonies at noon. Receive a T-shirt for $100 in donations and a sweatshirt for $250 in donations. Call 972-943-4624. --Jim Schutze

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