On Sunday, I went with a friend to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD where they have an amazing flutterby exhibition. Tripods aren't allowed inside the butterfly house so a steady hand is needed for the closeups, and it's difficult to get shots when hundreds of these pretty insects are flitting or floating past your head. We saw this caterpillar on the way in but I haven't managed to identify it; I think it's a fritillary of some sort.
Here I have a Mournful Owl butterfly from Guatamala whose wingspan can reach 6".
The two photos above are of the Hercules Emperor Moth of northern Australia and New Guinea and is one of the largest moths in the world with females of the species capable of reaching a wing span of 10.5". I had to pick one of these up from the floor where it was in danger of being trampled and was impressed with its grip and weight.
These two have settled down for dinner which is a dish of rotting fruit, a few of which were scattered around the house.
I couldn't identify this one but was amazed I managed to get such a good close up without a tripod. Look at those eyes.
A Postman Butterfly which I was surprised to see as this species is poisonous.
Another unidentified but pretty flutterby.
These Blue Morpho butterflies were difficult to photograph since they rarely settled, and when they did often held their wings closed displaying brown mottled sides and hiding their brilliant iridescence. We saw this solitary one resting on a pipe.
I shot a short video of the Blue Morpho as it was a beautiful butterfly to watch fluttering around the house.
Another butterfly I was unable to identify, but it may be a Painted Lady.
The three photos above are butterflies from the Longwing family.
A collection of butterflies enjoying a sugar snack including a Mournful Owl, center, and a Zebra Mosaic to the left with black and cream markings.
On our way out, we had a walk around the gardens before we left and spied this duck fast asleep in his pot in the middle of a pond. His mate watched us with one eye from a neighboring pot.
4 weeks ago