Monday, March 19, 2012

Butterflies (and Moths) Go Free!

Montreal's Jardin Botanique brightens a Quebec winter every year by hosting Butterflies Go Free in their Arboretum for 10 weeks from mid February to the end of April.  The arboretum filled with bromeliads, orchards, bonsais, ferns, exotic fruit trees and more is a delight all by itself.  But when you add Butterflies and Moths to the mix it is transformed into a land of enchantment.

So first...the moths.  (all information comes from the very informative brochure provided at exhibit)
Moths tend to stay in the shadow out of the sun.  Moths have to shiver to generate the heat they need to fly about to search for food and a partner.  Moths tend to be more stocky and furry (as opposed to the sleeker butterfly).  When at rest, moths keep their wings spread apart.

These are Cobra Moths which are very large.  The male can detect a female several kilometers away
This next moth is my VERY FAVORITE ON THE PLANET!  I just stood mesmerized staring at this beauty.  I think it looks likes a tiny cirque d' soleil dancer.  So magical!

Luna Moth

This is actually a butterly although its colors are "mothlike" and it is active at dusk...which is why it was in the "moth building".  We loved it's "eyes" on its wings.

Owl Butterfly
I thought these little guys were leaves stuck to a wall at first.  They are Blinded Sphinx Moths.  Their leaf colored wings help them hide against trees during the day.  

Blinded Sphinx Moth
And now to the Butterflies...jewels of the sky.  The blue morphos were brilliant but very hard to photograph because they were almost always flitting about and when they did rest, they folded up their beautiful blue wings to show the drab brown exteriors (best to hide from the bad guys).One of the best pictures I got was of a Dad trying to take a picture of his daughter with the butterflies flying all around her head.  What he didn't know was there was a brilliantly blue morpho on his shoulder

There were so many incredible can view them all on my flickr set Montreal: Butterflies Go Free 2012 at 

Here are a few of my favorites:


Weekend Cowgirl said...

Beautiful photos!!!

Jan's Travel and Tours said...

Amazing pics of those lovely moths and butterflies above...I love the luna moth so much (it's a unique one)...