12 July 2015

The barn of two butterfly enthusiasts - updated

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).


  1. I'm in awe of these folks. What a beautiful, creative display. This made me smile in appreciation, so thanks for posting it.

  2. That is a super barn quilt. Unique and imaginative.

    BTW, Marquette County has a barn quilt trail -


  3. those are some great fotos, butterfly picture taking guy!

    p.s. what is the secret to getting so close to them puppies?



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