Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
"Happiness is as a butterfly, which when pursued is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly may alight upon you." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
As you enter the Butterfly House in St. Louis, the attendant closes the outside door and gives you the butterfly rules. Don't touch the butterflies. Don't remove any plants. Don't touch the butterflies. Then the inner door opens and you enter a world of color and movement unlike anything you have ever seen.
The butterflies, small and large, move constantly. Sometimes they brush against you as they flutter by in flocks. Delighted laughter is the first response of both adults and most children. Other children shriek in fright as the colorful insects near their faces. Identification guide in hand, you wander into the humid jungle of Central America, neck craning to take it all in.
The Blue Morpho catches your eye first, since it is a bright almost neon blue color, and easily the largest butterfly there. However, it doesn't like to perch at all! If it does land, the wings immediately fold into an upright position displaying brown with eye spots and not a bit of blue. The other Morphs go to their quiet friend and bump into him. “Tag! You're it!” they seem to say as all of them streak off together.
How can you get a good photo of a Blue Morpho? I'm not sure that can be done with a live one. I tried focusing where they flew through, thinking to catch one in motion. I only got some blurry spots of blue, since they fly faster than I can see them, press the shutter and have the picture take. At the banana bar, one might flash a little blue in between slurps of rotting banana. How about movies? Again, I aimed where they were flying, and of course, they flew somewhere else.