Annual count nets numerous butterflies

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The problem with counting butterflies is, you have to catch them first — no easy feat. With nets in hand, more than a dozen area residents could be seen trying their hand at capturing the beautiful insects in the margins between Chief Joseph Highway and the Beartooth Mountains Friday. Some employed the standard chase while others stood in wait, hoping the butterflies would come to them. None were as proficient as Mindi Oechsner, a 5-year-old kindergarten student at Southside Elementary School in Powell. Oechsner had endless energy for chasing the winged gems through the hillside, but had little to say as she concentrated on the chase. Her favorite thing about butterflies? “Catching them,” she said. She was bringing in specimens so fast that the...

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