January 31, 2011

Butterflies at Skylands

Skylands, my home in Maine, has many wonderful collections that are so much fun to pore over.  Several years ago, my daughter, Alexis, had a store in the Hamptons, called the Yard Sale Shop, and she came across quite an extraordinary butterfly collection, all neatly framed and labeled as to origin, having been collected in the early 1960’s.  When redecorating Skylands, I found the perfect spot to hang these frames.  My friend and neighbor, David Rockefeller, was quite impressed when he saw this display.

Historically, insect collecting has been a very popular hobby, both for scientific reasons and for profit.  Most types of insects, because of their hard exoskeletons, retain their appearance after death, making it easy and practical to form a collection.  Because of their beauty, collecting butterflies and moths has been most popular, followed next by beetles.  A butterfly collector is an entomologist who specializes in the collection and study of butterflies and moths.  My preference is to let butterflies flit about freely, but I also prize this collection.