Butterflies

A Monarch butterfly, photgraphed near our house in Maine

A Monarch butterfly, photographed near our house in Maine

The magnificence and perfection of HaShem’s world of creation is an unending source of amazement to me, especially since I’m immersed in nature on a daily basis in the Maine woods.  Maine is in the pathway of the Monarch butterfly migration, but it was only when I visited Chicago to celebrate the birth of a new grandson, that I learned just how special these butterflies are.

How did I come to learn about Monarch butterflies in Chicago?  We visited the Chicago Botanic Garden where we happened upon a special butterfly exhibit.   There were 56 types of live butterflies there; most were from Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Monarch butterfly’s migratory path is from Canada to Mexico.  But here is the fascinating part:  a Monarch butterfly is incapable of covering that tremendous distance in its lifespan.  So a butterfly starts out in Canada, gets only so far, lays eggs, and dies.  The offspring hatch, continue the migratory path southward, get only so far, lay eggs, and die.  And so it continues until 3 or 4 generations later, the Monarch reaches Mexico.  Then, the entire instinctive migratory process repeats in a northerly direction.  How wondrous!  (You can read more about Monarchs here.)

Had I known about this special  exhibit beforehand I would have chosen a different lens for my camera, but the results were pleasing nonetheless.  Click on images for a close-up enlarged view.  A few species I simply couldn’t identify – – please write in the comments section if you know the names of those uncaptioned butterflies.

Banded Peacock (Southeast Asia)

Banded Peacock (Southeast Asia). Out of focus and to the right is the orange-colored Julia Longwing (Brazil north through Central America, Mexico, West Indies, peninsular Florida, and southern Texas)

Another view of the Banded Peacock

Another view of the Banded Peacock

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The Atlas Moth, the second largest moth in the world. It was the size of my hand!

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Great Mormon (Southeast Asia)

Great Mormon (Southeast Asia)

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Small Postman (Brazil north to Mexico; occasionally Texas)

Small Postman (Brazil north to Mexico; occasionally Texas)

This Grey Cracker (Argentina to Mexico) seemed to be attracted to the pattern in my son-in-law's shirt

This Grey Cracker (Argentina to Mexico) seemed to be attracted to the pattern in my son-in-law’s shirt

Giant Owl (Mexico south to Costa Rica)

Giant Owl (Mexico south to Costa Rica)

Atala Hairstreak (Southern Florida, the Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba)

Atala Hairstreak (Southern Florida, the Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba)

Banded Peacock (Southeast Asia)

Banded Peacock (Southeast Asia)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Eastern half of the United States, south to Florida. Occasionally strays to North Dakota, central Colorado, and Cuba)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Eastern half of the United States, south to Florida. Occasionally strays to North Dakota, central Colorado, and Cuba)

Unsure if this is the Green-Veined Charaxes (Sub-Saharan Africa) or the Ghost Sulphur (Argentina to Mexico)

Zebra Longwing (South America north to Central America, West Indies, Mexico, southern Texas, and parts of Florida)

Zebra Longwing (South America north to Central America, West Indies, Mexico, southern Texas, and parts of Florida)

Paper Kite (Southeast Asia)

Paper Kite (Southeast Asia)

Tailed Jay (India and Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Queensland, and the Solomon Islands)

Tailed Jay (India and Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Queensland, and the Solomon Islands)

Another view of the Tailed Jay

Another view of the Tailed Jay

Another view -- Identification pending

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