Monday, March 30, 2015

Lunchtime lecture spotlights Tennessee butterflies

Award-winning writer and photographer, Rita Venable, will talk about and sign copies of her book Butterflies of Tennessee during a lunchtime lecture at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center Wednesday, April 8. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m., and is free to the public.

Butterflies of Tennessee, published in 2014, is a collection of full color photos and descriptions of all 124 species of butterflies found in Tennessee. During her talk, Venable will share which butterflies you are seeing, whether you are walking in the woods or a formal garden. Beyond identifications, she’ll also show how to invite butterflies into your home gardens and tips on butterfly-watching.

Venable has published numerous articles and photographs in literary publications, newspapers and magazines including American Butterflies, American Gardener, Backpacker, Discover the Outdoors and National Wildlife Online. She has won awards in writing and photography from the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association and Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. Venable also served as an artist-in-residence in creative writing for five years with the Tennessee Arts Commission.

As an assistant biologist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, she has conducted biological surveys in state parks and natural areas across the state. Venable has worked to develop butterfly checklists for individual parks, led field trips, and conducted training sessions for naturalists and spoke at wildflower festivals and other state park events.

She has served as editor of Butterfly Gardener, a publication of the North American Butterfly Association and founded the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. She most enjoys connecting people with the butterflies that live around them.

For more information about the lunch lecture and Venable’s visit, contact the Center at 731-779-9000 or

Books will be available for $24.95. 

For more information about Venable and Butterflies of Tennessee, visit