Annicke and Jeremy's Guide to Butterflies of the Field and Forest

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Annicke Mouse and Jeremy Owl look at butterfly painting

Annicke and Jeremy love to go into the High Meadow, and the forest next to the high meadow, with their sketchbooks and paints, hunting for different types of butterflies. They never catch butterflies with a net, even though their friend Max says he has "like, five" spare nets they could use if they wanted, because they know a net can hurt the delicate tiny scales on a butterfly's wing.

So they sit very quietly next to the butterflies' favorite plants, and wait for butterflies to come so they can draw their pictures. (You can start with your own coloring page here!)

They quietly look for the monarch butterfly and the swallowtail butterfly. Then they keep their eyes peeled for a yellow butterfly, and then a white butterfly.

They don't have cameras in Hazel Village, but I think if they did they would take a picture so they could draw more slowly. As it is, they have to be fast and use their memories.

Here are different butterflies they see:

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Megan McCarty

Annicke looks closely for this swallowtail butterfly with its black and white stripes. That is why it is named after a zebra, she says. She sits close to the butterfly’s favorite flowers - lilacs and blackberries. Both smell very sweet.

Zebra Swallowtail Illustration

 She draws black and white stripes on the butterfly’s wings, black edges on the wings, and white dots on the edges.   

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Trisha Shears 

Jeremy loves looking for this bright yellow butterfly. It’s large, with black stripes and loves to sip nectar from lilies.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Illustration

Jeremy draws the butterfly’s yellow and black stripes. He says, “it is the tiger of butterflies, due to its stripes.” Very wise. 

Cabbage White Butterfly 

Cabbage White Butterfly

These are the easiest butterflies to find, even though they’re small. Annicke mouse knows that when these butterflies are small caterpillars they love to eat cabbage! She is able to tell the girl butterflies from the boy ones. The boys have one black dot on their wings. The girls have two.

Cabbage White Butterfly

Annicke draws the cabbage white butterflies with different numbers of dots. 

 Eastern Tailed Blue

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly

John Flannery 

This butterfly is mostly blue, in fact a lovely iridescent shade of blue. Iridescent means it shimmers with little bits of rainbow color. The butterfly’s edges are black and white and have an interesting fringe. Also, its antennae have intriguing black and white stripes. Jeremy says, “this butterfly has everything!”

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly Illustration

He finds it low to the ground because its favorites are wild strawberries and clover. Jeremy tries to capture all the butterfly’s special qualities in his drawing: its blue wings, its iridescent touches of rainbow color, and its striking black and white details. 

 Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

This butterfly is a very bright shade of orange with black edges and lines. Annicke often finds it sipping nectar from milkweed, which is its favorite.

Monarch Butterfly Illustration

Annicke and Jeremy work together on a very detailed drawing of a monarch butterfly. They say, “This is our masterpiece!” 

More Fun with Butterfly Sketches

We asked Annicke and Jeremy what they were going to do with their sketches. Annicke said she would paste them into her Field Guide sketchbook she is making, so she can remember more about nature and the beautiful things she has seen. Jeremy said when he gets home to his scissors, he is going to cut the butterfly paintings out, paint the backs so the butterflies have colorful wings on both sides of the paper, and use strings and sticks to make a butterfly mobile. He thinks his friend Zoe Rabbit might like to hang the mobile on her breezy sun porch by the stream. He is probably right! 

We love all the sketches that Annicke and Jeremy made. We like that some of them are more loose and impressionistic, and really show that the friends were enjoying the colors and patterns of the butterflies. And some of them, especially their “masterpiece” of a monarch butterfly, are more faithfully rendered field drawings.

Nature lovers of all ages can sketch beautiful butterflies in their own way. The friends say you could even make up some imaginary butterflies you didn’t see, but wish you had! Use our free printable of butterflies’ outlines to get started on your own butterflies!

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