Sunday, January 14, 2007

Morpho butterfly

Three days ago I spotted a very large butterfly feeding on the remains of a mango fruit on the ground near the entrance to the Bosque. Because the wings are closed at these times, there was nothing to indicate that it was one of the brilliant blue morphos we see floating over the trails and open areas of the reserve. I decided to try my hand at photographing it anyway. I find my digital camera extremely slow and unresponsive on these occasions but I took several shots at different angles and distances without getting anything worthwhile. The rotting mango produced some neat colors but the butterfly was dark and without any prominent features. Suddenly, wow, there was a flash of blue as it unfolded its wings for flight. I had gotten too close. Obviously the shutter on my camera hadn't opened at this split second interval so I waited for its return. And return it did ... but I couldn't capture the iridescent colors for love or money. Okay, another day. So yesterday I was back looking under that same mango tree and to my surprise I spotted a dead morpho on the ground. Dead but still portraying some of its original beauty. I wonder how the butterfly died. My guess would be that it was picked off by a bird but I don't know for sure.

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