Monday, 10 April 2017

Flutter By, Butterfly

Over 2000 beautiful butterflies belonging to over 40 different species flutter about at the Butterfly Conservatory at Niagara. They were flying over my head, landing on my clothing, even landing on the ground so I had to keep an eye on where I stepped. I would hate to squash one of these delicate creatures. All colours, all sizes and shapes.

Lots of pictures here. But I didn't note the names of these colourful creatures in most of the photos. But the species of butterfly at the conservatory include the banded orangeblue morphocommon Mormoncydno longwingDoris longwingGulf fritillaryJuliaLow's swallowtailmonarchmosaicowl, red lacewing, Sara longwing, and small postman.

This butterfly perched on the back of a lady's yellow jacket. They love bright colours.

Some species are bred at the Conservatory's breeding facility and others are imported from butterfly farms in Central America, Indo-Asia and Australia. Most butterflies are nectar feeders, using their proboscis mouth to reach into flowers to drink. The Conservatory has a tropical plant collection of over 100 exotic plants. And the butterflies love them all.

It was hard to get a good photo. My strategy was to focus on a flower, and sooner or later a butterfly would land on it.

The average life span of most butterflies is two to three weeks. This Blue Morpho butterfly was dead and definitely a bit ragged around the edges, but still beautiful.

Ooooo there's a butterfly on my tummy.... it tickles!

Caterpillars are reared through to the chrysalis stage on overseas butterfly farms and then shipped via special air courier. They are pinned to the emergence window at the conservatory. The butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, dries it's wings, and then makes its way through holes in the window to the main butterfly area.

The Magnificent Owl butterfly has large eye spots making them appear to have the eyes of a much larger animal.

Both the Owl butterfly and the Blue Morpho feed on the juices of rotting fruit.
There's a rain forest, and a waterfall keeping the atmosphere humid. And helpful knowledgeable staff ready to answer butterfly questions. A great place to visit. Especially if you like butterflies!


Marie Smith said...

Love that place! Great photos!

Elephant's Child said...

Ephemeral magic. Visiting a butterfly farm is high on my wish list.

Lowell said...

What a beautiful series of photos. I think butterflies are wonderful creatures. We have a butterfly garden/rain forest place at the University of Florida in Gainesville. We've only been there once, but it was a great time.

Jono said...

What an amazing place that is! Thanks for the pics.

Angela said...

This is incredible! How beautiful to spend time closer to these beauties. I really did not know they had such short life span. Thanks for sharing!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

That looks a fantastic place with some really exotic butterflies. Sometimes it's best to just forget about the names and concentrate on the beauty and the wonder.

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful photos! I know little to nothing about butterflies. I know more now though, thanks to you!

alphabet soup said...

Fascinating post - especially the info about the caterpillars being reared overseas.

Ms Soup

Revrunner said...

Hmm. Makes me wonder what you call a collection of butterflies. A swarm? No. a "kaleidoscope", yes. :-)

LL Cool Joe said...

You did a much better job than I did of capturing these beautiful creatures. When I went to Butterfly World in AZ I managed to take one good photo! Lovely photos.

Tomoko said...

Those butterflies are beautiful! I imagine that they are enjoy fluttering around you! A bit sad to know of their short life span.
Have a good weekend.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wow! What a gorgeous butterflies!
Just amazing to know that over 2000 beautiful butterflies belonging to over 40 different species.
You took stunning pictures, Shammie. Bravo!

bill burke said...

What an incredible place. I love all those pretty butterflies. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

Wendy said...

We must have been on the same wavelength! I visited the Botanical Gardens here in Montreal with a group of ladies just a couple of days ago.

Same experience - beautiful butterflies, tropical plants, cascading waterfalls, lovely moist warm air and very very difficult to photograph those blue morpho butterflies. As soon as they alight, they close their wings. I did get one pic, but I think it was dead also.

Your photos are truly beautiful, Shammie! Thanks for sharing.

The Blog Fodder said...

They are so beautiful. Wonderful pictures, too.