A Magical Moment with the Blue Morpho Butterfly

Blue Morpho butterflies wafted through the forest as I wended my way down the slippery path to the cave housing the Oil Bird at ASA WRIGHT Nature Center in Trinidad. Their fleeting glitter of vivid blue danced in the, otherwise, darkness of the forest environment throughout the morning…

Morphos Wafting through forest

The last time I saw the Blue Morpho was in captivity in a butterfly house at a nature center on Long Island…where I worked albeit, unsuccessfully, to record its electric blue wings on film.

This butterfly continually eludes me because when it rests its wings are closed, thus concealing the iridescent blue hue…


I have this ‘thing’ for butterflies in general and have visited Costa Rica innumerable times to immerse myself in their natural habitat.

Photographing them is always a challenge and finding an outdoor butterfly house of the scope and natural splendor as the one at Selva Verde Lodge near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui keeps drawing me back. To paraphrase a song from the ‘70’s, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Her’…Wings, she took my breath away! Actually, she did a whole lot more…

The butterfly specialist at the lodge told my friends and me that a mush of over ripened bananas mixed with beer and then slathered onto ficus elastica (rubber tree) leaves would attract the Blue Morpho Butterfly…so we followed his directions and made the concoction, spread it on the leaves…and waited…


The next morning I went back to the garden to shoot ‘one more’ roll of film in the butterfly garden. It was to be our last morning (of our first visit) at Selva Verde Lodge and I had to get my fill of this spectacular place. No sooner did I enter the garden than a Blue Morpho alighted on my tripod. It was as though it were waiting for me! I quickly ‘fumbled’ with excitement and separated my camera from the tripod to photograph this elusive butterfly…


…the Morpho suddenly perched onto my camera! I held out my hand for it to move to my finger and for a few moments struggled holding my heavy camera with one hand while the Blue Morpho sat on my finger!


No one would believe this close encounter with the Morpho, I despaired, and my photographs, undoubtedly, would not turn out. I just reveled in the fantasy of it, when…a stranger walked through the garden door, paused a moment to observe this occurrence…and then silently came over to me and took my picture.

The Morpho then merrily jumped onto her finger! I clutched my camera with both hands and photographed away! A confirmed sighting was established and I was given a hand for the shoot. It is the only time I have ever successfully photographed this special butterfly…and forever, another Nature-Lover and I are bound by this magical moment!!!



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