posted in: Fine Art | 10

As a continuation of my reminiscing the other day… Here are some photographs of butterflies I unearthed during a recent reorganization of my hard drive.  I love nature.  As adults, we often get caught up in “adult” things and forget to see the excitement in the world around us!  Even something as ordinary as a butterfly is complex and awe-inspiring, should you take the time to watch one for a while.  We did just that last summer, during our visit to Mackinac Island.  While the Butterfly House wasn’t quite as peaceful with an excited toddler in tow, I still did enjoy watching all the butterflies.  The toughest part was watching little hands and keeping them from trying to “pick up” butterflies.  That “look but don’t touch” rule can be so tough to remember.  This butterfly photograph below is my favorite from our visit:

And another to share.  I find it interesting how some butterflies photograph beautifully, while others, their colors just seem dull and drab in comparison.  After that last photograph, this one doesn’t look all that gorgeous.  But here is is, anyways, in all its glory:

Finally, we did locate some butterflies that would stay still long enough for my toddler to watch.  Frankly, he found these ones a little boring.  I didn’t tell him what they were doing, but in case you don’t know and are interested, this is a pair of butterflies mating.  Interesting to see how well both their wings blend together as a pair; almost looks like a mirror image.

There were many, MANY more butterflies to watch, and had I tried to photograph them all, it would’ve taken days.  But, I guess that’s part of the enticement, you’re always welcome to return.  They keep the butterflies warm through the summer months, and then in the spring they get a new set shipped in.  There was more talk about how none of these can mate to produce any viable offspring, but I don’t remember the details.  Probably has something to do with importing exotic species to the States, and of course there are certain environmental conditions that have to be present in order for any mating attempts to be successful.  On that note, let me get back on topic and say that the Butterfly House, while great for older kids, is probably not the best choice for a toddler (mine was frustrated because he couldn’t touch or hold anything).  Maybe next time he’ll enjoy it more!

“Bug” Photography Tip — ok, so butterflies aren’t bugs, persay, but if you do desire to take pictures of any little critters, its best to chill them first.  Remember the praying mantis and katydid I photographed?  They both had a brief trip to the artic (in my fridge/freezer) prior to having their portraits taken.  Since they rely on the external temperature, cooling them down makes them slow down.  Don’t leave them in for long though – just a few minutes at most.  And if you are going to capture “bugs” to photograph, make sure to give them leaves and such so they are comfortable while in captivity…and then release them when you’re done.  Insects are great creatures for kids to observe and watch, and how you treat the insects will probably be how your kids do as well.  Happy bug hunting!


10 Responses

  1. Tamar

    What gorgeous creatures!!

  2. Kim. Cunningham

    These are beautiful. Love that huge macro of the 3rd image!

  3. Anneli - A'la Foto

    Very beautiful pictures of the butterflies! I love butterflies and would like to visit a butterfly house again. The last (and only) time I have been there they didn’t have so much butterflies with colors! And it was so hot in there (it was winter outside) so it took 30 minutes just to warm up the camera! I love the first orange butterfly! 🙂

  4. Betsy Finn

    Yes, they are, Tamar! And the Butterfly House is full of them, really surreal to have so many butterflies flying around you.

  5. Betsy Finn

    Thanks Kim! Yeah, with so many butterflies flying around, it was hard to pick just a few favorites to “track” for purposes of photographing. That last image was a little easier as the butterflies weren’t moving.

  6. Betsy Finn

    Oh, the camera fogging transition phase can be annoying, Anneli! They do have to keep it extra warm for the butterflies, so a wintertime visit would be even more of drastic change (we went during the summer, so it didn’t matter much). This particular one ships in new butterflies every year, as they close down during the winter (lack of tourism).

  7. bettyl-NZ

    What lovely and colorful beauties! Great photos.

  8. Betsy Finn

    Thanks for visiting, Betty. I checked out your blog; New Zealand is simply an amazing place 🙂 I’m sure you find lots of inspiration there!

  9. Erica Baker

    Awe! I love the butterfly house. I grew up in Michigan and have so many fond memories of Mackinac Island. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Betsy Finn

    Yeah, Mackinac Island is a lovely place. I always forget it’s not as well known to non-Michiganders :). (Loved your Ireland pictures, Erica).