As the days start to get longer and the temperature begins to rise (really wishing here), it’s a reminder that spring is just around the corner. And what better way to welcome the upcoming season than by talking about the beauty and wonder of butterflies?
Many of us are familiar with the delicate and colorful butterflies that flutter around our gardens during the warmer months, but did you know that the state of Wisconsin is home to a diverse array of butterfly species? From the large and showy monarch butterfly to the tiny and elusive frosted elfin, there’s a butterfly out there for everyone to enjoy.
Butterflies are not only beautiful to look at, but they also play an important role in the ecosystem. They pollinate plants and serve as a food source for other animals. And as it turns out, they can also be a source of inspiration and joy, even in the dead of winter.
Meet Kjell Sandved:
Kjell Sandved is a Norwegian-American photographer and entomologist who has spent decades traveling the world and capturing the intricate patterns and colors of butterfly and moth wings. In the spring of 1960, while working at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C, Sandved found a beautiful letter “F” woven into the tapestry of a wing, that was the starting point of his quest to find the entire alphabet on the wings of butterflies. He taught himself photography and embarked upon the quest of his life, visiting more than 30 countries to discover all the letters of the alphabet on the wings of butterflies.
His discovery is a reminder that nature is full of surprises and that even the most seemingly insignificant things can be incredibly complex and beautiful. Sandved’s unique ability to see meaning in the tiniest details, and his use of photography to reveal these hidden patterns and designs in nature, has made a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of these delicate and beautiful creatures.
Sandved has published a book called “Butterfly Alphabet” that showcases his findings and provides a detailed explanation of how he discovered the letters in the wing patterns. He also started a business, Butterfly Alphabet Inc., in 1993, after he retired from his 32-year career at the Museum of Natural History, where he shared his discovery through posters, prints, and other educational materials.
Butterfly Trivia: Wisconsin Edition
The largest butterfly found in Wisconsin is the giant swallowtail, which can have a wingspan of up to 6 inches.
The smallest butterfly found in Wisconsin is the spring azure, which has a wingspan of only about 1 inch.
The most common butterfly found in Wisconsin is the Eastern tiger swallowtail, which can be seen fluttering around gardens and wooded areas.
The least common butterfly found in Wisconsin is the Coral hairstreak, which is considered a species of special concern in the state.
At Ponics Produce, we believe that the beauty and wonder of butterflies should be celebrated all year round, not just during the warmer months. We hope that Kjell Sandved’s discovery will inspire you to look for the beauty and wonder in the world around you, and when spring finally arrives, we’ll be here at Ponics Produce, ready to welcome you back to the world of butterflies and blooming flowers.