Thirteen Year-old Naturalist

Felix Fettig at work

Felix Fettig at work

Felix Fettig is passionate about butterflies, native plants and amphibians. In 3rd grade Felix started raising monarch caterpillars and has done this activity for the past five years.

I just feel really passionate about this. I have raised monarchs, painted ladies, red admirals, polyphemus moths luna moths, cecropia moths, red spotted purples, viceroy, giant swallowtails, black swallowtails and tiger swallowtails. In all, I have raised and released hundreds of butterflies. This has got me a lot more interested in life science. I also like to growing carnivorous plants and love amphibians. That is why we built the pond up on the hill. Amphibians are very important because they are an indicator species.”

Butterfly garden, designed and planted by Felix when he was in 5th grade.

Butterfly garden, designed and planted by Felix when he was in 5th grade.

Felix's original butterfly garden plan

Felix’s original butterfly garden plan

White admiral in the butterfly garden.

White admiral in his butterfly garden.

 

Black swallowtail larvae. Felix Found the eggs on the parsley and dill and is feeding them Golden Alexander leaves.

Black swallowtail larvae. I found the eggs on the parsley and dill and am feeding them Golden Alexander leaves.”

 

This one is the tiger swallowtail. It is in its 5th instar and will turn brown soon. That is when you know it is going to pupate. I feed it green ash.

This one is the tiger swallowtail. It is in its 5th instar and will turn brown soon. That is when you know it is going to pupate. I feed it green ash.”

Felix was in 5th grade when he made this drawing.

Felix was in 5th grade when he made this drawing.

 

Monarch pupae. I raised the monarchs from eggs in my butterfly garden.

Monarch pupae.
“I raised the monarchs from eggs that were on the milkweed  in my butterfly garden.”

 

 

Salamander yearly migration cycle.

Salamander yearly migration cycle.

 

 

“The drawing above shows vernal pond and wintering pond/lake. The adults can’t breed in the wintering pond because the fish will eat the larva and adults. In the spring salamanders migrate to a vernal pond (has no fish and dries up in late spring). The adults lay their eggs and the larvae metamorphose before the pond dries up in the spring. They then spend the summer underground in the moist soil of the vernal pond and travel to the wintering pond/lake in the fall.”

 

Amphibian pond that Felix designed and built.

Amphibian pond that Felix designed and built last year.

 

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5 Responses to Thirteen Year-old Naturalist

  1. Jedidiah Krauss says:

    Well I’m impressed! Way to go Felix!

  2. Terry steen says:

    I can attest to Felix’s passion about butterflies, moths and assorted insects. It’s not unusual to see him chasing through the neighborhood or squatting peering intently into the garden. He’s a great kid to have in the neighborhood!

  3. Sue ODonnell says:

    Thank you Felix for your dedication to protect the butterflies, and other creatures in our environment. It is very inspirational to see a young person so involved and dedicated to saving our species that have become so threatened.

  4. Marilynn Torkelson says:

    What a beautiful amphibian pond! I bet the birds love it too.

  5. Sally Critchley says:

    Oh Felix, you make me so proud. Excellent terrific work you are doing and communicating about. I will be sharing your pictures and efforts with my Kindergarten class this year. It will support my theory: “I get my best ideas from kids!” Way to go Felix.
    Sally Critchley, Proud Kindergarten Teacher of Felix

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