October 30, 2022

The Butterflies of 2022

common buckeye
Common Buckeye

We've flirted with frost at my house, but we haven't had a hard freeze. There are still butterflies fluttering through the state, which is a special joy at this time of year. During the "warm" months, I enjoy tracking and counting butterflies during my hikes, and reporting my sightings to wisconsinbutterflies.org.

The numbers of monarchs were down this past season, but hopefully it was just regional and we'll have more next spring, summer, and fall. What follows are a few of the butterfly sightings of the past year, in no particular order. There were many more; this is just a small sample:
mourning cloak
Mourning Cloak

tiger swallowtail
Tiger Swallowtail


eastern tailed-blue
Eastern Tailed-Blue

ss skipper
Silver-Spotted Skipper

pecks skipper
Peck's Skipper

cabbage white
Cabbage White

pearl crescent
Pearl Crescent

black swallowtail
Black Swallowtail

painted lady
Painted Lady

common wood-nymph
Common Wood-Nymph


All photos were taken in local natural areas, botanical gardens, and my own property. While there likely will be more butterfly sightings yet this fall, the season is winding down. I'll miss them during the winter, and look forward to sightings in the year ahead.


  1. Lovely photos, Beth. We didn't see many butterflies here this here at all, although the numbers have noticeably increased during the past month.

    1. Thanks, Kris. It seemed like the numbers were down, overall, but especially the monarchs. Usually, I'd see many monarchs just about every time I'd do a survey. There were many times this year when I didn't see monarchs at all. :(

  2. Great photos, Beth. I'm always amazed at the range of these critters. You have many of the same butterflies in far north Wisconsin that I have here in Central Texas. So wonderful to see!

    1. Thanks! It's funny when you say "far north" Wisconsin. I know we're northern, but we're in the southern part of the state. LOL. I do agree, though, the range of the butterfly species is incredible, and some of them (including monarchs) migrate from central Canada (much further north than where I am) into Mexico and Florida. Amazing stuff!

  3. Hi Beth, wow, great photos. We were down in numbers regarding Monarchs as well. Our big surprise of the season was several Yellow Swallowtail enjoying the garden, I just love how big they are.
    We also enjoyed a visiting Black Swallowtail and several others you shared.

    1. Thanks, Carla. The Tiger Swallowtails and Black Swallowtails are awesome! And the Giant Swallowtails are huge! I usually see some giants each summer; I only saw a couple this year. Fascinating creatures!

  4. Beth, I'm so inspired by your butterfly sightings and beautiful photos. I've been disappointed this year with the variety and number of butterflies passing through my garden this year.

    1. Thank you, Susie. The numbers of monarchs were definitely down this year, which made the entire butterfly season disappointing because their numbers are usually quite high here. Here's hoping for more butterflies for both of us next year.

  5. Beautiful butterflies, and they are not easy to photograph!

    1. Thanks, Diana. They are beautiful, and so inspiring. :)


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