A Beautiful Sunday Lunch at Brick Farm Tavern amid a Flurry of Butterflies

During the summer of 2018 I spent a good deal of time quietly posing near a few flowers in our meadow trying to photograph a monarch. They were impossible to capture on film. They eluded me every time.
Today, while enjoying an al fresco lunch at Brick Farm Tavern, I was not only able to photograph a monarch, but the number of entrees we ordered for lunch matched the species of butterflies I was able to photograph. And I didn’t even have my Canon in tow.
Scattered around the old brick buildings are several lovely native plants that seem to be beaming with beauty in the noon day sun. The Bergamot, the purple Coneflower, and the Black-eyed Susans were all in full-on display.
While looking at the menu, I first spotted the Red-spotted Purple butterfly, which my 7-year-old reminded me of the name as I was trying to blurt out “red checkered purple”. The dorsal side a vivid indigo blending to a deep dark blue almost black, while its ventral side dusky blue with orange spots. This particular species is quite small and usually perches while very slowly opening and closing its colorful wings. They are stunning to watch. He on the other hand, was impossible to catch a photo with his wings open. (The photo at the beginning of this post was actually taken last summer in the Sourland Mountains, the first time I ever saw one.)

After enjoying every last bite of the delicious farm to table lunch and trying to put our finger on the ingredient list that made up the barbecue sauce on the seasonally inspired empanadas we set about to enjoy more wildlife.
Sure enough…I think I photographed a black phase Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Judging by its wingspan I pretty sure that is what I saw. She just seemed too big to be a Black Swallowtail.

And then, the impossible happened. I was able to take a few shots of a monarch, up close, with my phone no less! It was a lovely lunch indeed!

The Brick Farm Tavern creates pasture-to-table dining in a way few have experienced before. Whether you’re coming for cocktails or a special dinner, you will appreciate the importance we place on our farming and artisan community. On-premises Troon Brewing and Sourland Mountain Spirits round out the experience.

Come see and, most importantly, taste the best that this region has to offer. 

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