Friday, February 1, 2013

Mindo -- Butterflies, Part 1

We went to a butterfly preserve where they help certain butterflies survive the predators in the wild.  It was fabulous to be able to view them in a relatively natural looking setting before they were released back into the wild.

The first thing we got to see was where they put the pupae they have collected so they can hatch.  These are the pupae of butterflies that hatch at the waters edge.  They really are as sparkly as they look.  It mimics the look of sun glinting off water and helps camouflage them.

Once they've been born, they hang around until they're strong enough to take off and then they go join the others.

We were encouraged to put some of the fruit the butterflies like on our fingers to attract them to us.  Then, all we had to do was put our finger down by their front legs and the butterfly would crawl on our finger and we could walk around with it for as long as we wanted.  It was great fun.  This is mine.

How many butterflies do you see in this bush?  There are four.  I know this because I wrote it down when I took the picture.  The only problem is, I can only find three of them.  The fourth must be very well hidden.

Sometimes we didn't even need to put fruit on ourselves to get a butterfly interested.

 The finger is for scale.  That's a very large butterfly.  The wingspan is over 6 inches.

The best photo of the butterfly adventure.  This is a Blue Morpheus butterfly and they are getting harder and harder to find in nature but this little guy enjoyed hanging out on Dennis's head for a while.  This is so improbably looking that it almost looks Photoshopped.

This is the same guy when he's folded up.  Still pretty spectacular.

And now, just photos, photos, and more photos.

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