Photographed in Marquette County, Wisconsin, on a "century farm" (owned by the same family for 100 years) where in the summer of 2013 I enjoyed a delightful lunch in the shade of old trees in the front yard. The current occupants have decorated their barn in a manner consistent with their interest in butterflies.
On the far left is a barn quilt depicting a stylized butterfly. To the right of that are wooden appliques representing each of the over 50 species of butterfly seen on the farm - handcrafted at a scale of 1 foot to 1 inch. It's not only an artistic accomplishment, but a documentation of a remarkable "life list" of species from one location, reflecting the owners' devotion to maintaining a wide variety of habitats and plants on their farm.
Update: I returned to the farm this summer and was able to get a better image of the barn, which replaces the poor-quality one I posted two years ago. My visit was part of a field trip to nearby Summerton Bog, a Wisconsin State Natural Area. Despite the "swampy" implications of the name, the property is "a highly diverse complex of low meadow, bog, fen, tamarack, and shrub communities." I visited with friends from the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association -
As soon as I stepped out of my car, I was greeted by an Eastern Tailed-Blue, nectaring on a butterfly weed:
There were numerous Baltimore Checkerspots -
- which I have previously posted here puddling on scat.
The Great Spangled Fritillary on this ?monarda has lost a wingtip -
My last photo from the trip is of an American Copper -
The hindwings are a little foreshortened in the image because of the angle I took to sneak up on it for the photo, but the colors are true. The butterfly is only the size of a thumbnail, with remarkable beauty packaged into that small body.
After several hours in the field, we sat at a picnic table under the oak trees by the barn, and counted a total of 22 species seen that morning.
SWBA has five more field trips scheduled for the summer. Anyone is welcome to join us - you don't have to be a member (but note all trips are weather-dependent).