The astronomy nut formerly known as the Star Hustler, Jack Horkheimer, promises "an absolutely spectacular month" for viewing the planets Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. If you head outside just after sunset tonight and look toward the northwest, you can spot the bright orbs hanging around a beautiful crescent moon. Don't see anything? Then you need to get away from the bright lights of the city and look to the stars at Bill Sadowski Park (17555 SW 79th Ave., Palmetto Bay), where the Southern Cross Astros will help you out from 8:00 to 10:00 (weather permitting). Call 305-661-1375, or visit www.scas.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Butterflies belly up to a floral bar
BY LYSSA OBERKRESER
The delicate butterfly is very sensitive to environmental changes. The endangered Miami Blue was almost extinct before University of Florida researchers bred them in captivity and released hundreds of them into the area last year. By planting butterfly-attracting plants and ridding your yard of harmful pesticides, you can put out a colorful welcome mat for these beautiful insects. Butterflies are picky eaters, so you'll want to have a variety of plants to satisfy the palates of different species: Monarchs like milkweed; Cassius Blues crave the periwinkle blue flowers of the plumbago; and Black Swallowtails prefer parsley, fennel, and dill. To learn more, flutter by the Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardening workshop today from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Castellow Hammock Preserve and Nature Center, 22301 SW 162nd Ave., Homestead. Registration costs $15. Call 305-242-7688.
Rock and row, baby
Who would have ever thought that stroking it could be so much fun, not to mention healthy. And although New Times calendars are a virtual cornucopia of holidays like National Pot Smoking Day and National Slap Your Co-Worker Day, until recently we were unaware today is National Learn to Row Day. But the folks at the Miami Rowing Club, an organization that has been touting the wonders of this transcendental communion with nature for more than 30 years, were nice enough to remind us. So get out there and enjoy a summer of gliding across the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay. Row, row, row your scull beginning at 8:00 this morning at the Miami Rowing and Watersports Center, 3601 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne. The first lesson is free. After that, membership fees vary. For more information call 305-361-3225, or visit www.miamirowing.org. --Kris Conesa
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