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A high-tech way to follow butterflies

A Monarch butterfly perches on a lantana flower

A Monarch butterfly perches on a lantana flower at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale. (June 27, 2012) Credit: Leslie Barbaro

If you love butterflies, chances are you've planted Monarda (bee balm), Buddleia (butterfly bush), Asclepias (butterfly weed) and other perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs known to lure Lepidoptera. But this is 2012, so you probably won't want stop there in the real world; you'll likely want to max things out in the virtual world.

A new app, Journey North, from Annenberg Learner, will let you track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies and submit observations while still in the field. Teachers across North America already are using the app to teach students about global wildlife migration and seasonal changes, and it recently has become available to the rest of us. 

You'll find Journey North for free in the app store, available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. 

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