The Morpho Peleides, also known as the Blue Morpho, or The Emperor, is native to Mexico, Trinidad, Central America and some parts of S. America. This spring saw a kaleidoscope of Blue Morphos butterflies released at the Butterfly House. Although the height of their season was in March, this past Sunday promised to be a rainy day, perfect for spending in a humid, tropical greenhouse filled with the beauties.
Note: the featured photo is actually of a Morpho menelaus. I learned that there are three different types of Blue Morphos. Who knew?
The outside grounds of the Butterfly House have lovely, natural selections of flowers, mostly coneflowers and some variety of Salvia.
By the pond, my friends and I were greeted by a very loud, somewhat disgruntled bullfrog. I don’t recall ever hearing a bullfrog before. Kermit, you don’t “ribbit’.
Faust Park, where the Butterfly House is located, has lots of historic log cabins that have been rescued from other sites, as well as commissioned sculptures for the gardens that add a nice atmosphere and a great photo-op.
We entered the Butterfly House and after presenting a membership card for the botanical gardens (yay – free admission!), walked past several terrariums with bugs, including an area where you can feed the roaches. Yes, you read that correctly. What is WRONG with these people? Giant, ugly … I won’t even spend more time describing them (in case you’re eating). Suffice to say, it was disturbing, and the only cure to recover from roach-mania is butterflies!!!
My initial impression of Blue Morphos… they are large (yeah, I kind of knew that already), bright blue (ditto), and aggravatingly active. It’s funny but different-sized butterflies had their own flight patterns and flight speeds. Smaller butterflies were content to linger on available foliage but not so the Morpho Peleides. They close up their wings at the first available opportunity and look, from a certain angle, like they’re a brown predator with a great big eye staring at you.
Not so great for photo ops. So, in the search for the perfect shot, we had a lot of fun figuring out each others’ cameras, capturing photos of smaller butterflies, and enjoying the lush, tropical plants and flowers.
Finally, after several failed attempts, and by the grace of God, I captured a photo of the elusive Blue Morpho.
The exposure is a little too bright but this was the first and only successful shot I was able to get of the Emperor Butterfly with its wings full extended. Isn’t it lovely? The colors are so much more vivid in person too. It’s really an incredible species.
I feel like I understand them more having witnessed butterflies en masse and I cannot wait for my next visit to The Butterfly House.
As a side note, we ate out at a lovely pâtisserie not too far away and I had my first taste of macaroons. Ooh la la! If I had taken the owner’s advice and purchased 1,000 of these delectable treats, I would send one to each of you. 🙂 Alas, I left my camera and my credit card in the car.
Did you enjoy the photo tour of the Butterfly House? I really hope so. It was so much fun to tour and take photos and I’m really grateful to Peggy and Kurt for the opportunity. Thanks you two for helping me make this milestone birthday one to celebrate all month long.